A recent poll of Minnesota attorneys reveals a very comfortable lead for Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug against his Republican Party-endorsed challenger Michelle MacDonald.

The poll of 783 Minnesota State Bar Association attorneys who are likely practice before the appellate courts revealed 93.4 percent backed Lillehaug, compared to 6.55 percent for MacDonald.

The poll, taken Sept. 9-19, was completed before MacDonald’s conviction by a Dakota County jury last week for gross misdemeanor test refusal and obstruction of justice stemming from an April 2013 traffic stop. She was found not guilty of driving while intoxicated.

MacDonald drew ire from Minnesota Republican Party leaders when the pending charges came to light last June a month after she was endorsed at their state convention in Rochester. Party leadership said they did not know about the charges, and unsuccessfully attempted to get MacDonald to “repudiate” her endorsement. MacDonald refused and continues to campaign for the seat. She filed a complaint against party leadership which was ultimately dismissed.

Although Lillehaug appears safe, his fellow incumbent Justice Wilhelmina “Mimi” Wright enjoys an even stronger lead with 96.93 percent of support over challenger John Hancock, with 3.07 percent.

The attorneys polled comprise a small sample of the Minnesota State Bar Association's estimated 17,000 members.

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