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Baxter named First District judge in Le Sueur County

Rosemount City Councilor Mike Baxter has been appointed a First District judge for Le Sueur County by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, according to a press release from the governor's office.

"Mike has a rare combination of a diverse practice in law, experience in the business world, and a wide array of civic activities," Governor Pawlenty said. "His professional background and demonstrated commitment to the community will be a great fit for this judgeship."

The vacancy occurred with the death of Carver County Judge Jean Davies in March. The sole judge serving Le Sueur County, Richard Perkins, is transferring to Carver County, creating the opening in Le Sueur.

Baxter beat out two other finalists -- Allen P. Eskens, of Cleveland, and Jody A. Kieser Kisting, of Savage -- for the appointment according to a press release on the governor's website .

The Commission on Judicial Selection screens judicial candidates and makes recommendations to the governor for district court vacancies that occur during the term of a judge. The commission consists of 13 members: nine at-large members and four members from the judicial district. The commission members include attorneys and non-attorneys appointed by the governor and the Minnesota Supreme Court. The commission received 25 applications for this judicial vacancy.

Baxter, an attorney and shareholder with the Baxter Engen Ltd. Law firm in Burnsville, has practiced law since graduating magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in 1991.He is also an adjunct professor at William Mitchell.

As a resident of Rosemount Baxter has filled a number of roles. He has served on the city council since 2004 and is currently trying to reclaim his seat. He also serves as chair of the Port Authority.

Baxter could not be reached for comment.