ST. PAUL (WJON News) -- The Commission on Judicial Selection has recommended three candidates to fill a vacancy in Benton County.

Judge Micahel Jesse is retiring leaving an open seat to be chambered in Foley.

Governor Tim Walz will choose from the three candidates at a later time.

The candidates are Amy Chantry, a judicial referee who presides over housing, harassment, domestic violence, minor criminal and minor civil matters. Chantry also volunteers as a mock trial judge at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.

Karl Schmidt is the Benton County Attorney, who previously served as the senior assistant county attorney and handled felony prosecutions, as well as fugitive and extradition cases. He is also a member of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association.

Victoria Willis-Gutnik is an assistant county attorney in the Stearns County Attorney's Office domestic violence unit and also handles human trafficking-related crimes. She was previously a law clerk for Judge Sarah Hennesy who is now a finalist for a vacancy on the Minnesota Supreme Court. Willis-Gutnik is a member of the Stearns Benton Bar Association, Minnesota County Attorneys Association, and Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers.




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