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Gov. Walz appoints Karl Schmidt to fill 7th Judicial District vacancy


May 3, 2024

Contact: Claire Lancaster 



Governor Walz Appoints Karl Schmidt to Fill Seventh Judicial District Vacancy


[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today announced the appointment of Karl Schmidt as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District. Schmidt will be replacing the Honorable Michael S. Jesse and will be chambered in Foley in Benton County.

“Karl Schmidt will be a great addition to the Seventh Judicial District,” said Governor Walz. “He has been a steady hand and a leader in Benton County for decades, which gives me the confidence that he will administer justice fairly with the community’s best interest in mind.”

“I applaud Karl Schmidt’s appointment,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Mr. Schmidt’s commitment to Benton County is clear – both in longtime service to the community and pursuit of equitable outcomes for those involved in the justice system. I look forward to his continued public service on the bench.”

Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District encompasses Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, and Wadena.

About Karl Schmidt: 

Karl Schmidt is the Benton County attorney. He previously served as a senior assistant Benton County attorney, where he primarily handled felony prosecutions, as well as fugitive and extradition cases. Schmidt also served as an assistant public defender in the Seventh Judicial District and as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Bruce W. Christopherson in the Eighth Judicial District. His community involvement includes volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, and he is a member of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from Hamline University School of Law.

For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit the Governor’s Judicial Appointments webpage

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