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Candidates for Minnesota Supreme Court urge voters to turn over their ballots

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DULUTH, MN -- Michelle MacDonald and Incumbent Justice Paul Thissen are squaring off this election, running for this year's only Minnesota Supreme Court race.

You can find the non-partisan contest on the back of your ballot.

"These are the things that really impact Minnesotans, and who sits behind the bench makes a big difference on that," said Justice Paul Thissen.

Justice Thissen has a lengthy resume when it comes to Minnesota policy-making. He was appointed to the court in 2018.

"Before that, I worked 25 years as a lawyer here in Minnesota arguing cases before the supreme court," said Justice Thissen. "I also served as in the legislature for 16 years including two years as speaker of the house."

Thissen said his years of experience have prepared him to keep this position.

"One of the most important things I do in my job today is really put myself in the shoes of the people that are appearing in front of me because that's the best way to really understand their arguments," said Justice Thissen.

His opponent, Michelle MacDonald, has worked as an attorney in Minnesota for 33 years.

Two years ago, the state Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility suspended her and then put her on probation for professional misconduct.

The office is currently considering extending that probation.

Despite that, MacDonald is running on a platform to reform and bring humanity to the justice system.

"I will protect and defend your fundamental rights and also eliminate the bureaucracy and make sure that the judicial branch, our judges, are accountable to the constitution and the rule of law," said MacDonald.

MacDonald said the way our courts currently run is punitive and she wants to make them more unified.

"What I am promoting and what can happen is a unitive system of justice, which is where people come together who are really involved in the conflict and really hear each other out," said MacDonald.

Although the two are competitors, both are urging voters to flip over their ballots come election day.

If you would like to know more about Justice Thissen, click here.

If you would like to learn more about Michelle MacDonald, click here.

Natalie Grant

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