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Finalists Named to Fill Dakota County Attorney Vacancy

Update: The ACLU of Minnesota, the NAACP Minneapolis, Jewish Community Action, Gender Justice, and the Coalition of Asian American Leaders are hosting a forum at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, to hear from the three finalists to fill the vacancy:


On March 23 the Dakota County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to select three finalists to fill the vacancy resulting from the retirement of Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. The Board plans to conduct public interviews of the three finalists later this spring. The person selected to fill the vacancy will serve the remainder of the existing term and the office will be on the ballot in 2022.

The three finalists include:

  • Kathryn Keena, the acting Dakota County Attorney who has worked for the Dakota County Attorney's Office since April 2000;

  • Elizabeth Lamin, an assistant Ramsey County attorney who has worked for the Ramsey County Attorney's Office since July 2008; and

  • Thomas Pugh, a Minnesota district court senior judge who served as a Dakota County District Court judge from December 2011 through August 2019.

More information about the finalists is available here. The Board is soliciting feedback regarding the selection, which may be submitted via this form.

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