More than a dozen candidates for a judicial seat in Stillwater showed up for a voter forum in Monticello last night -- just over half the people that will be on the ballot in central Minnesota next month.
The 14 lawyers fielded questions and talked about their legal philosophy for two hours at the Monticello City Council chambers.
With 24 candidates, the election is believed to be the longest ballot list for a single office in modern state history.
Candidates like Afton attorney Mary Smits said they're struggling to distinguish themselves from the pack.
"The internet is key, and also getting your signs out," Smits said. "Some of my constituents have been saying, well, 'why aren't you out knocking on doors?' My response is, I'd love to knock on doors, but I'd still be knocking on doors next summer, and the election is over in November."
Voters in eight counties -- an area nearly the size of Connecticut with a population about the size of Alaska -- are being asked to fill the vacant seat.