Human services chief eyed for MN appeals court post

Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson is one of four candidates under consideration for state appeals court judge.

The Commission on Judicial Selection announced the candidates Wednesday in a news release from Gov. Mark Dayton’s office. Dayton needs to fill two at-large vacancies on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. One vacancy is the result of Natalie Hudson’s appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The other is the result of the scheduled retirement of John Smith in February.

Jesson has been in charge of the largest state government department since 2011. She sent an email to DHS employees notifying them of her candidacy.

“As a long-time attorney and daughter of a judge, I have always been interested in serving in the judiciary,” Jesson wrote. “After five productive, fulfilling and eventful years as DHS commissioner, the time seems right to pursue this opportunity.”

The other candidates are Fourth District Court Judge Diane Bratvold, Second District Court Judge Jeffrey Bryan and University of Minnesota Deputy General Counsel Tracy Smith.

An announcement of the appointments will be made following candidate interviews in the coming weeks, according to the news release.

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