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Carlton County attorney throws hat in ring for judgeship

It's possible the third time might be the charm for Carlton County Attorney Thomas Pertler. Pertler has once again put his name in the running for a vacancy on the Sixth Judicial District trial court bench following unsuccessful attempts in 2007 ...

It's possible the third time might be the charm for Carlton County Attorney Thomas Pertler.

Pertler has once again put his name in the running for a vacancy on the Sixth Judicial District trial court bench following unsuccessful attempts in 2007 and 2008.

The current vacancy on the bench is the result of the retirement of the Honorable Gerald C. Martin on Oct. 1, 2009. The Minnesota Supreme Court certified the continuation of the position and announced last week that applications would be received from licensed Minnesota attorneys who are residents of the Sixth Judicial District.

Pertler, who was a finalist for both of the previous positions on the bench, underwent the first round of interviews on Monday. He explained the three candidates who make the cut (likely to be announced later this week) will then be invited to interview with Governor Tim Pawlenty, who will make the final choice for the bench.

Thereafter, he said, judges are up for re-election every six years.

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Pertler, of Cloquet, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1986 and his Juris Doctorate degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul in 1989. He worked as an associate attorney with the Taylor Law Firm in Minneapolis from 1990 to 1991 and in the same capacity with the Anoka law firm of Randall, Dehn and Goodrich from 1991 to 1995.

Pertler was named assistant Carlton County attorney in 1995, where he served prior to his current position of county attorney. He is also an adjunct instructor at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

Pertler has held his current position as Carlton County attorney since 2005.

"I thoroughly love my [current] job, so I would not be upset if I don't get picked," Pertler attested. "But my whole career has been in public service and in my opinion, the pinnacle of serving the justice system is starting at the top. I feel I could contribute to our system from the bench, and I believe I am qualified to do so."

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