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Candidates for Seventh Judicial District recommended to Governor Dayton

The Commission on Judicial Selection announced recently that it is recommending three candidates to Governor Mark Dayton for consideration to fill the current vacancy in Minnesota's Seventh Judicial District.

This vacancy was created upon the retirement of the Honorable Thomas Knapp. This district court judgeship will be chambered at St. Cloud in Stearns County in the Seventh Judicial District.

Minnesota's Seventh Judicial District consists of Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd and Wadena counties.

An announcement of the appointment will be made following an interview process over the next few weeks.

The following are candidates for the vacancy:


Benson is a member of the criminal defense firm of Benson Law Office, L.L.C., and is an MSBA Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist.

Benson also serves as a part-time assistant public defender for the Seventh Judicial District, a panel member of the Criminal Justice Act Federal Defender Panel and a member of the Public Defender DNA Working Group.

Previously, he was a member of the Minnesota State Forensic Trial Team, a managing attorney with the Office of the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender and an assistant Stearns County attorney.


Pearson is a criminal defense attorney at the law firm of Bradshaw and Bryant, P.L.L.C., defending clients in both state and federal court.

Pearson also serves as a public defender for Stearns and Benton counties, where he represents civil commitment, guardianship, and paternity clients.

Previously, he served as an assistant public defender for the Seventh Judicial District. Pearson is the president of the Central Minnesota Youth Soccer Association and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


Wang is the Assistant Chief of the Criminal Division in the Stearns County Attorney's Office, where he supervises the adult criminal prosecution division.

He previously was an assistant Stearns County attorney and, prior to that, worked as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Regina Chu.

Wang is the president of the John E. Simonett American Inn of Court, a trustee of the St. Cloud Public Library Board of Trustees, a member of the Community Corrections Advisory Board and the immediate past president of the Stearns-Benton Bar Association.