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Claesson-Huseby appointed Ninth District Judge

Annie Claesson-Huseby

BEMIDJI -- Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday appointed Beltrami County Attorney Annie Claesson-Huseby to fill a newly created judgeship in the Ninth Judicial District.

Claesson-Huseby is in her first term as Beltrami County Attorney, elected in 2014.

She succeeded longtime county attorney Tim Faver, who served in the role for 25 years.

Claesson-Huseby was the former Chief Assistant Beltrami County Attorney, an assistant Beltrami County attorney. She also was a staff attorney at Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota.

Claesson-Huseby was unavailable for comment Friday.

Beau Berentson, director of Communications and Public Affairs for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, told the Pioneer on Friday there was no timetable set for when Claesson-Huseby would assume the judgeship.

The new seat in the Ninth Judicial District was ordered by the Minnesota Supreme Court because of the heavy workload in the district. The new judgeship will be located in Bemidji at Beltrami County, which is also home to Ninth District Chief Judge Paul Benshoof.

Kay Mack, Beltrami County Administrator, said Friday that the county commission will appoint someone to fill the remainder of Claesson-Huseby’s term when she assumes the judgeship. She said the county commission most likely will create a hiring committee, which could happen at the next county meeting Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Also Friday, Dayton appointed Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie to fill the Ninth District judgeship of the Honorable Richard A. Zimmerman, who is retiring. That judgeship will be chambered at Brainerd in Crow Wing County.

“Ms. Annie P. Claesson-Huseby and Mr. Christopher J. Strandlie have distinguished records of public service, working as county attorneys in their respective communities,” Dayton said in a press release announcing the appointments. “I thank Ms. Claesson-Huseby and Mr. Strandlie for their ongoing commitment to public service. Their extensive legal experience and records of community involvement will serve them well.”

Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Claesson-Huseby received her bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as her law degree from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

Claesson-Huseby had been with the Beltrami County Attorney's Office for a decade when she won the 2014 election County Attorney, defeating David Hanson for the position. She was named chief assistant to Faver in 2006.

Claesson-Huseby is the president of the Beltrami County Bar Association, a team member of the Children’s Justice Initiative, a member of the Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota Board, and a member of the EX Chapter of Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O), according to a release.

Christopher StrandlieStrandlie previously served as assistant Cass County attorney, an assistant Ninth Judicial District public defender, a partner at Kimball and Strandlie Law Office and an alternative public defender for Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Strandlie earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth and his law degree from the University of North Dakota.

He is a founding member of Cass County and Leech Lake Wellness Court, director of the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association Board, vice president of the Walker Youth Hockey Board and is a veteran of the United States Army and the Walker Volunteer Fire Department.

Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District consists of Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau Counties.