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

September 14, 2012

Saint Paul, MN – The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today it is recommending four candidates to Governor Mark Dayton for consideration to fill the current vacancies occurring in Minnesota’s Eighth Judicial District. These vacancies were created upon the retirements of the Honorable Steven E. Drange and the Honorable Paul A. Nelson. Judge Drange’s seat will be chambered at Litchfield in Meeker County and Judge Nelson’s seat will be chambered at Montevideo in Chippewa County. Both seats will be chambered within the Eighth Judicial District.

Stephanie L. Beckman-Ms. Beckman serves as the Meeker County Attorney where she is responsible for the civil work and criminal prosecutions. She previously worked as an Assistant Stearns County Attorney in their civil division. Ms. Beckman is a guardian and trustee for Developmentally Delayed Adult and is an executive board member of the Minnesota Alliance on Crime.

Rodney C. Hanson-Mr. Hanson is a partner with Anderson, Larson, Hanson & Saunders P.L.L.P. where he primarily practices in civil litigation. He has maintained a local practice in Willmar since 1985 and is a qualified neutral and arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. Mr. Hanson is a past president and board member of the United Way of West Central Minnesota and is actively involved with the Vinje Lutheran Church.

Keith Helgeson-Mr. Helgeson serves as the Yellow Medicine County Attorney where he provides legal counsel to all County departments. He previously served as Assistant Yellow Medicine County Attorney and was a Board of Directors member of the Western Minnesota Legal Services Corporation. Mr. Helgeson is a former Granite Falls City Council member and is a board member of the YME Hoops Club.

Thomas W. Van Hon- Mr. Van Hon maintains a general law practice where he assists individuals and businesses with civil matters and criminal defense.  He also serves as the city attorney for Fairfax, and is an Assistant Public Defender for the Minnesota Board of Public Defense. Mr. Van Hon has chaired the Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop School Board for 16 of his 20 years of service as a school board member, and was a member of the GFW Writer’s Guild.

Minnesota’s Eighth Judicial District consists of Big Stone, Chippewa, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine Counties.

An announcement of the appointment will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.