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Commission on Judicial Selection recommends 8th Judicial District candidates to Gov. Walz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 2, 2021
Contact: Claire Lancaster
claire.lancaster@state.mn.us
651-219-2975 

Commission on Judicial Selection Recommends Eighth Judicial District Candidates to Governor Walz

[ST. PAUL, MN] – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today that it is recommending three candidates for consideration to fill a vacancy in Minnesota’s Eighth Judicial District. The vacancy will occur upon the retirement of the Honorable Dwayne N. Knutsen. This seat will be chambered in Granite Falls in Yellow Medicine County.

Keith Helgeson: Mr. Helgeson is currently the Yellow Medicine County Attorney. He previously served as an Assistant Yellow Medicine County Attorney, a law clerk for Judge Bruce Christopherson, and an adjunct professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. As County Attorney, Mr. Helgeson represents Yellow Medicine County in criminal, juvenile, child protection, and civil court matters. He also advises the County Board and various county departments. Mr. Helgeson is a member of the Yellow Medicine County Restorative Justice Advisory Council, Chemical Health Coalition, Prairie Lakes Advisory Board, and President of the Tri-County Law Library Board. His community involvement includes being a Kiwanis member, previous member of the Granite Falls City Council and Granite Falls Hospital Board, a youth basketball and soccer coach, and a mock trial coach.

Aaron Jordan: Mr. Jordan is currently the Stevens County Attorney and the City Attorney for Alberta, Chokio, Donnelly, Hancock, and Morris. He was previously an Assistant Cass County Attorney, an Eighth Judicial District Public Defender, and has also spent time working in private practice. Mr. Jordan’s experience includes prosecuting all levels of criminal offenses and juvenile delinquencies, as well as child protection, appellate practice, civil work, and advisory work. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Mr. Jordan has served in several different volunteer capacities focused on criminal law and ethics. His involvement includes serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association (MCAA) and the MCAA Criminal Law and Ethics committees. Mr. Jordan also served as the Chair of the 16th District Ethics Committee. He was a member of the Cass County DWI Court and is a founding member of the Eighth Judicial District Treatment Court.

Benjamin Wilcox: Mr. Wilcox is a partner at Wilcox Law Office, P.A. He also serves as the City Attorney for Benson and Kerkhoven, as well as an Assistant City Attorney for Murdock, Clontarf, Danvers, DeGraff, and Holloway. Previously, Mr. Wilcox was a mortgage processor for General Mills Federal Credit Union. He represents clients in a wide variety of civil matters, including real estate, estate planning, probate, civil litigation, small business organization, and landlord-tenant matters. Mr. Wilcox currently serves as a board member for The Robert Sonsteng Foundation, a local charitable organization that provides grants each year to the Benson area, particularly supporting the school district, hospital, daycare providers, and other local nonprofits. He is also a board member of the Southwest Initiative Foundation, a community foundation which serves 18 counties in southwest Minnesota.

For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit our website: https://mn.gov/governor/administration/judicialappointments/

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