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Wentzell appointed to fill Eighth Judicial District vacancy


WILLMAR — Assistant Kandiyohi County Attorney Stephen Wentzell has a new job as as an Eighth Judicial District judge.

Gov. Mark Dayton announced the appointment Friday.

Wentzell will replace Judge Donald Spilseth, who is retiring Oct. 6.

Wentzell will be chambered in the Kandiyohi County Courthouse in Willmar.

Stevens County Attorney Aaron Jordan and Yellow Medicine County Attorney Keith Helgeson had also been under consideration for the appointment.

In his announcement, Dayton said Wentzell has "demonstrated his deep commitment to public service" through his work and community volunteer.

"I congratulate him upon this opportunity to continue that service as a district court judge in Kandiyohi County," Dayton said.

As First Assistant Kandiyohi County Attorney, Wentzell has assisted in the supervision of the office, provided legal advice to county departments and maintained a criminal, juvenile and civil commitment caseload.

Previously, he was an Assistant Kandiyohi County Attorney and a law clerk for Judge David Mennis.

He earned a bachelor's degree in political science and organizational communications from Concordia College in Moorhead and a law degree from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Wentzell is a member of the Willmar Rotary Club, a volunteer youth hockey coach, a member and past President of West Central Ducks Unlimited and a member of several interagency committees.

Minnesota's Eighth Judicial District consists of Big Stone, Chippewa, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilkins and Yellow Medicine counties.