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Published March 12, 2013, 01:37 PM

Lillehaug among 3 recommended for Minnesota high court seat

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's Commission on Judicial Selection recommended three candidates to Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday to replace Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson when he retires at the end of May.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's Commission on Judicial Selection recommended three candidates to Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday to replace Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson when he retires at the end of May.

They include former U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug and Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Edward Cleary, who were both central players in Minnesota's 2008 U.S. Senate race recount when Democrat Al Franken narrowly defeated Republican Norm Coleman. Cleary was a Ramsey County District Judge who sat on the State Canvassing Board, which declared Franken the winner. Lillehaug represented Franken as a lawyer in private practice, and he also represented Dayton in his 2010 recount win over Republican Tom Emmer.

The third finalist is Court of Appeals Judge Natalie Hudson, a former assistant attorney general and former St. Paul city attorney. If Dayton picks Hudson, she would be the third African-American on the state's highest court after Justices Alan Page and Wilhelmina Wright, and the third woman on the court after Wright and Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea.

This will be Dayton's second Supreme Court appointment after Wright last year, and only the second by a Democratic governor since 1991. Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed four of the current justices, who'll remain on the seven-member court, while GOP Gov. Arne Carlson named Anderson. Page won election to an open seat.

Dayton will interview the finalists before making his appointment, the commission said in a statement.

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