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Letter: In support of Kathryn Messerich

To the editor,

I am writing this letter in support of Judge Kathryn Messerich as she runs for reelection this fall. As a Dakota County lawyer and Hastings resident, I wanted the residents of Hastings to know that we have a hardworking, well respected judge who is being challenged in the election.

There are two people who filed for the position that is based in Hastings: Judge Kathryn Messerich, who was appointed to the bench (became a judge) in 2004 and was reelected in 2006; and a lawyer named Brian Gravely who lives in Shakopee and has only been a lawyer since 2004. Judge Messerich has been an attorney since 1987.

In 2004, Judge Messerich underwent an extensive application and interview process by the judicial commission before she was ever recommended to Governor Pawlenty for appointment. The Judicial Selection Commission under Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 480B.01 Subd. 8.) is required to "evaluate the extent to which candidates have the following qualifications for judicial office: integrity, maturity, health if job related, judicial temperament, diligence, legal knowledge, ability and experience, and community service." The Judicial Selection commission interviews many qualified attorneys before making their recommendations to the governor for the appointment to the judicial vacancy. Therefore, in 2004 when her challenger was first becoming a licensed Minnesota attorney, Judge Messerich was found to have the legal knowledge, experience and ability to be a judge. She has served the citizens of the First Judicial District (Dakota, Goodhue, Scott, Carver, McCloud, Sibley and Le Seur counties) since 2004. She is based primarily in Dakota county and presides over all types of cases, including criminal, civil, family, juvenile and drug court.

Judge Kathryn Messerich is experienced and proven. She is an outstanding judge and should be reelected.

Kathleen O'Connor