ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s Democratic U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith are forming a committee to help them recommend to President Joe Biden candidates to serve as Minnesota’s U.S. attorney and U.S. marshal.

The seven-member selection committee will be chaired by Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, according to a Feb. 8 news release. Other members represent law enforcement, legal offices, Native American tribes, advocacy groups and more.

The full list of committee members includes:

  • Chairman: John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney
  • Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Amran Farah, attorney at Greene Espel and former President of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers
  • David Lillehaug, former Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota
  • Cecil Naatz, Managing Attorney of the Public Defender’s Office in Marshall, Minn.
  • Thomas Smith, Training Director for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and former chief of police for the St. Paul Police Department
  • Patricia Tototzintle, Chief Executive Officer of Casa de Esperanza nonprofit

In her statement, Smith said the committee members “will help run an inclusive and fair selection process” for the state’s “top federal law enforcement” positions.

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“Identifying highly qualified candidates who are committed to fulfilling the promise of freedom and equality will help uphold our most fundamental value of equal justice for all Minnesotans and Americans,” she said.

Klobuchar said the future U.S. attorney and U.S. marshal for the state “are critical to keeping our state and communities safe.”

“I am confident that this committee will find candidates who are committed to the promise of equal justice under law for all,” she said.

According to the senators' release, those wishing to be considered for the two positions should submit a letter of interest and resume between by Feb. 16 via email to or by mail to: Federal Law Enforcement Selection Committee, Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar; 1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250; Minneapolis, MN 55415.