Halverson leads Lindstrom in race for 9th Circuit Court 4
Early Wednesday, Nov. 4, incumbent Judge Charles Halverson was up over Cass County Attorney Ben Lindstrom with 79,732 votes (57.20%) to 59,194 (42.47%) in the race for the 4th Court of the 9th District circuit.
The race for the 4th Court may have been an uncomfortable reminder that political divides have entered virtually every aspect of American life, with school board races and even nonpartisan judicial contests no exception. While both candidates for the 4th emphasized that a dispassionate, impartial demeanor were crucial to be an effective arbiter of the law, the tone of the race was anything but.
While not directly, Lindstrom often insinuated Halverson’s values were out of step for central Minnesota and rural areas of the state in general — an insinuation Halverson denied, both during talks with the Dispatch and in campaign materials proliferated in support of his candidacy. Lindstrom’s criticisms didn’t stop with Halverson, but extended to social media where he made sweeping allegations directed at “every sitting judge” in Minnesota of St. Paul elitism and brushes with unconstitutional abuses of power.
Lindstrom said he had the right experience and approach to judging, while Halverson did not based on interactions in court. Halverson, who was first appointed to the position in 2018 by former Gov. Mark Dayton, said Lindstrom’s campaign style served to speak for the kind of candidate he was, while Halverson said his own candidacy rested in 30 years of experience as a criminal defense specialist highly regarded by his peers.