The Commission on Judicial Selection recommended four candidates to Gov. Mark Dayton for consideration to fill two current vacancies in Minnesota’s 9th Judicial District. These vacancies were created upon the retirements of Judge Michael J. Kraker and Judge John R. Hawkinson.
Kraker’s seat will be chambered at Mahnomen in Mahnomen County and Hawkinson’s seat will be chambered at Grand Rapids in Itasca County.
Heidi Chandler is currently the Assistant Itasca County Attorney, where she prosecutes adult criminal cases and assists in child support, civil commitment, and juvenile delinquency cases. Previously, she was an associate attorney at the Undem Law Office, practicing in civil litigation and as a private criminal and public defender. Chandler is the former President of the Itasca County Bar Association.
Anne Rasmusson is a partner at Rust, Stock, Rasmusson, & Knutson, where she practices primarily in family law and litigation matters. She previously served as the chair of the 14th District Bar Association.
Eric Schieferdecker is an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Minnesota, and primarily prosecutes murder, drug, sexual predator civil commitment, and implied consent cases in the 9th and 7th Judicial Districts. Previously, he was the Chief Assistant County Attorney in Beltrami County. Schieferdecker is a board member and vice chair of the Sexual Assault Program of Beltrami, Cass, and Hubbard Counties.
Judge Korey Wahwassuck is an Associate Judge of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Court, where she hears cases and drafts opinions. Previously, she was a tribal attorney for the Leech Lake Band and a solo practitioner in Missouri and Kansas. Additionally, Wahwassuck helped found and presides over the Leech Lake-Cass County-Itasca County Wellness Courts, the first joint tribal-state jurisdiction courts in the nation.
Minnesota’s 9th Judicial District consists of Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau counties.
An announcement of the appointment will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.