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First Minnesota Supreme Court challenge filed

Justice Alan Page

It’s official — Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page has a challenger.

According to the Secretary of State’s website, 9th District Tim Tingelstad has filed to run against Page, who, due to his prior career on the Minnesota Vikings, is the closest thing the high court has to  celebrity. Page is also the most senior justice on the high court and most recently has distinguished himself with his eloquently written dissents. He is also the only African American justice, and the only current justice to have originally obtained his seat through election.

One wonders if Tingelstad somehow drew the short straw in selecting which justice to run against. Page routinely gets more votes than any other justices when he is up for election.

Tingelstad, on the other hand, is pretty much unknown outside his district and runs low-budget campaigns. He runs something of religiously themed campaign complete with a website that has biblical quotes.  Tingelstad squared off against Page in 2004, the last time the justice was up for election, and suffered the biggest loss of anyone seeking a judicial seat that year. Page got 72 percent of the vote to Tingelstad’s 28 percent.

Since losing to Page, Tingelstad has unsuccessfully run for two other judgeships. In 2008, he ran against Justice Paul Anderson and lost by a 2-1 margin.  In 2006, Tingelstad finished third in a field of three for a seat on the District Court bench in the 9th District.

Tingelstad last month was endorsed by the state’s GOP to run against Page, so his filing was expected. Despite the endorsement, if the past is any kind of guide, his campaign won’t be overly political and will be run on a shoestring.

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