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Affirmation of Judicial Campaign Conduct
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The Affirmation of Judicial Campaign Conduct

The HCBA has a strong commitment to the administration of justice in a fair and impartial manner, with access for all. That commitment finds the association active as judicial elections approach. The HCBA encourages highly qualified candidates to consider running for judicial office, but it does not screen, nor endorse, any candidates.

Candidates who choose to run for office are challenged by the association to high standards of campaigning, and asked to sign an Affirmation Regarding Responsible Judicial Candidate Conduct that includes the pledge not to identify politically with partisan politics. Once contested races have been narrowed to two candidates for each seat, the HCBA also conducts a plebiscite for members to have a voice in identifying the most qualified candidates. In the Fourth Judicial District (Hennepin County) there are four contested races and 23 races where incumbent judges stand unopposed.

The Campaign Conduct Affirmation

The challenge to high standards in campaign conduct is a joint effort of the HCBA, the Minnesota State Bar Association, and the Ramsey County Bar Association. The state bar contacts statewide candidates with the challenge, while the local bar associations contact candidates for seats on the district courts. 

Following the close of filings for District Court seats, the HCBA contacted all 39 candidates in the four contested races and in races where the incumbent judge will stand unopposed. The pledge, a full copy of which is viewable here as a PDF, asks candidates to hold to standards above what is required by law, in order to avoid all appearance of political commitments that might imply a less-than-impartial judiciary.

The following candidates responded by signing the affirmation, some with additional notes, and one through a letter rather than a signed copy. (A copy of the returned affirmations may be viewed by contacting  

  • Judge Ronald Abrams
  • Candidate Beverly Aho
  • Judge Pamela Alexander
  • Candidate Steven Antolak
  • Candidate Bev Benson
  • Judge Ivy Bernhardson
  • Candidate Jean Brandl
  • Judge Gina Brandt
  • Judge Tanya Bransford
  • Judge Peter Cahill
  • Candidate Daniel Cragg
  • Judge Margaret Daly
  • Candidate Amy Dawson
  • Judge Martha Holton Dimick
  • Judge William Koch
  • Judge Herbert Lefler
  • Judge Kerry Meyer
  • Judge James Moore
  • Judge Daniel Moreno
  • Judge Jay Quam
  • Judge Jeannice Reding
  • Candidate Paul Scoggin
  • Judge Kristin Sigesmund
  • Candidate Bridget Sullivan
  • Judge James Swenson
  • Judge Edward Wahl