Attorney Charlie Nauen, the longtime lead counsel for the state’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, has received what he considers the party’s “most significant award.”
Nauen received the DFL’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award for Dedication and Leadership at party’s annual Humphrey-Mondale dinner on May 24.
Nauen first rose to party prominence during the 2008 U.S. Senate election recount, where he represented a group of voters who successfully challenged local officials’ and election judges’ rejection of 400 absentee ballots.
After a judicial panel inspected the ballots, they ordered that 351 be counted. Of those, 198 went to Franken. He ultimately won the race by 312 votes.
Nauen later was co-lead of the DFL’s recount efforts after the 2010 gubernatorial election that saw Mark Dayton rise to power by an 8,500-vote margin. In 2011, he became the DFL’s general counsel.
In 2017, Nauen successfully represented Dayton when he was sued by Legislature for zeroing out the House and Senate budgets with line-item vetoes.
He was also counsel to Destiny Dusosky, a constituent who sued to unseat former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach from her dual post as state senator. That suit was initially dismissed but it got refiled partway through the 2018 legislative session. It was finally rendered moot when Fischbach resigned from the Senate.
“We were a week away from arguing for our summary judgment, round two, when she finally did resign from the Senate and was sworn in as lieutenant governor,” Nauen said. “We were ready to go.”
Over the years, Nauen has represented the party before the Campaign Finance Board and before administrative law judges and also during legislative-race recounts. He has also represented a variety of individuals, including Dusosky.
“It’s been a full practice for us,” he said.
Like this article? Gain access to all of our great content with a month-to-month subscription. Start your subscription for as little as $32.