Herald Journal - Voters' Guide '08

Across the state, three races will be on the ballot for the Minnesota Supreme Court, Court of Appeals

Statewide, there are three court races that will appear on the November ballot – two seats on the Minnesota Supreme Court and one seat on the Minnesota Court of Appeals – according to Minnesota Lawyer.

This does not include district court judges, who were profiled previously by Herald Journal.

These judge candidates are the following:

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson faces a challenge from 9th District Judge Tim Tingelstad of Bemidji.

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea faces a challenge from Hennepin County District Court Judge Deborah Hedlund.

  • Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Terri Stoneburner faces a challenge from International Falls attorney Daniel Griffith.

Anderson vs. Tingelstad

Judge Paul Anderson is being challenged by Judge Tim Tingelstad.


Tingelstad is set apart from other judges by his views on religion, being a practicing Christian.

“Everyone has an opinion or belief as to where absolute truth is and where it comes from, and that’s what I’m telling people where I believe my rock solid foundation is,” Tingelstad says. “I believe that absolute truth exists and that it comes from God.” On Tingelstad’s web site, http://www.highesthill.com/index.php, he features a prayer clock and Quotes of the Day.

Tingelstad received his law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law and the University of North Dakota Law School. He has been a magistrate in family court for the state’s 9th Judicial District since 1999. Prior to that, he was an administrative law judge, worked in private practice and was an assistant Beltrami County attorney.


Paul Anderson was appointed to the court in 1994. Previously, he was chief judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals (1992 - 1994). He is a graduate of Macalester College (1965) and the University of Minnesota Law School (1968). He is the author of many decisions, such as the leading case on bail, State v. Brooks. He has been involved in improving racial fairness in Minnesota’s justice system.

Skjerven Gildea vs. Hedlund

Incumbent Judge Lorie Skjerven Gildea faces a challenge Judge Deborah Hedlund

Skjerven Gildea

Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea grew up in Plummer, MN and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Minnesota Morris in 1983. From Morris, Justice Gildea went east for law school. She graduated from Georgetown University in the top 10 percent of her class.

Before becoming a judge, Skjerven Gildea was litigating cases in courtrooms for about 20 years. She began practicing law at one of the largest law firms in Washington, DC, Arent Fox, where she represented clients in courtrooms around the country.

In 1993, Skjerven Gildea came home to Minnesota where she represented the University of Minnesota in courtrooms around Minnesota and before the United States Supreme Court. Justice Gildea litigated some of the university’s most important cases in the 11 years she worked as an associate general counsel.

Then Skjerven Gildea went to work in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted white collar criminals and those who preyed on vulnerable adults. From there, Gildea was a trial judge in Hennepin County over criminal cases.


Hennepin County District Court Judge Deborah Hedlund has spent the last 28 years on the trial court bench. Prior to being a judge, Hedlund worked in the Minnetonka City Attorney’s Office and as an attorney in private practice, according to Minnesota Lawyer.

Hedlund graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School. Before then, she attended Kansas University. She was appointed by Gov. Al Quie to municipal court in 1980.

Stoneburner vs. Griffith

On the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Judge Terri Stoneburner faces a challenge from International Falls attorney Dan Griffith, who has run unsuccessfully for a judgeship twice before, according to Minnesota Lawyer.


As the incumbent on the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Judge Terri Stoneburner has served on the appellate bench for eight years.

Stoneburner’s prior experience includes 10 years as a trial court judge and 10 years in private practice in Mankato. She also worked for four years as a staff attorney for the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights.


Dan Griffith has own private law practice, Griffith Law Office, and practices in International Falls. Prior to that, he has worked as court appointed counsel and have for the last 14 years.

Griffith has served on the Judicare Panels for Northeast and Northwest Minnesota for 14 and five years, respectively. “Judges are public servants with power, and as such need to be accountable to the public to check that power,” Griffith said.

Griffith’s favorite quote is by President Abraham Lincoln “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”