A few thoughts from readers on voting for judges:
I am a retired cop, once I heard a judge brag about his popularity because he had over 90% of the vote.
My rule of thumb, never vote for anybody unopposed, it just boosts their ego. It also pares down the list.
That certainly works when there is no choice. Roger the Younger e-mails to point out that the Minnesota Family Institute has a voters guide for the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. The guide is somewhat helpful as it provides the views of non-incumbents Dan Griffith (MN Court of Appeals 16) and Tim Tingelstad (MN Supreme Court). Unfortunately, it doesn't help much with the views of their opponents. And it doesn't have any information on the other Supreme Court contest between Deborah Hedlund and Lori Skjervien Gildea.
Roger included input he received from friends on these races as well:
Deborah Hedlund went to India with me two years ago as part of a legal team. She visited with the legal professionals in India to make contacts with them through the Gospel Association of India. She also spoke at the GAI evangelistic meetings and at Christian, secular, and Hindu Universities as a Christian judge from the United States speaking to various issues.
Sounds pretty good. But there there's this:
The Minnesota Citizens Concerned For Life mailing we just received endorses Tim Tinglestad and Lori Skjervien Gildea and that's one reason to give them your vote.
And indeed it does.
More on local races from Roger's network:
In Hennepin County, Judge #53 is open, and the choices are David Piper and Jane Ranum (Democratic Senator for many years) (Vote David).
In Hennepin County, Judge #9 is also contested: Incumbent Philip Bush or Eugene Link. I don't know enough about either yet.
In the 10th District, my friend John Dehen is running against incumbent Robert Varco.
From the Minnesota Lawyer Judicial Elections 2008 site, I also see that Hennepin County Judge #58 is contested between Thomas F. Haeg and James T. Swenson. Any help with that race would be appreciated.
For purely informational purposes, the law-talking guy site is very helpful. You can easily find which judicial district you'll be voting in and who is running. Who to vote for is where the difficulty lies.