Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Margaret H. Chutich and Court of Appeals Judge Lucinda E. Jesson both held comfortable leads in electoral challenges from a pair of metro-area attorneys.
Chutich was well-positioned to hold onto her seat after being challenged by West St. Paul attorney Michelle MacDonald, who was making her third run at the state high court amid her own persistent legal controversies.
Jesson meanwhile was on track to remain on the state Court of Appeals after fielding a challenge from St. Paul attorney Anthony L. Brown. Brown, 41, ran against Jesson after spending 18 years practicing civil and criminal law in the Twin Cities.
Gov. Mark Dayton appointed both Chutich and Jesson in 2016. Chutich, 60, is the state’s first openly gay justice and served four years on the Minnesota Court of Appeals and previously worked for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and as a federal prosecutor before being appointed by Dayton.
Jesson, 60, has been a past candidate considered by the governor for the Supreme Court and spent five years leading the Department of Human Services through the expansion of community-based mental health treatment and amid a historic federal court challenge to the state’s sex offender treatment program.
MacDonald, 56, has made abolishing the family court system a centerpiece of her previous campaigns. She had her law license suspended for 60 days earlier this year in connection with professional misconduct allegations that dated to 2013, including repeatedly interrupting a Dakota County judge in open court and other disruptive behavior that led to her arrest while representing a client in a child custody trial.
Also Tuesday, campaigns for Chutich and Jesson reported that their campaign websites both came under attack by high levels of bot traffic that disrupted each site. The campaigns reported the activity to the Secretary of State’s Office. Jesson’s campaign reported that initial data suggested the bot traffic came from China.