St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Three candidates have been recommended to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to fill a judicial vacancy that will be chambered in Fillmore County.

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The Commission on Judicial Selection made the announcement Tuesday that Jeremy Clinefelter, Debra Groehler, and Dwight Luhmann were the three candidates that were recommended for consideration to fill a vacancy in Minnesota’s Third Judicial District. The vacancy will occur upon the retirement of Matthew Opat.

Jeremy Clinefelter: Jeremy Clinefelter is the managing attorney of the Third Judicial District Public Defender’s Office in Owatonna. In this role, he supervises attorneys and support staff serving indigent clients in Rice, Waseca, Steele, Freeborn, and Mower Counties. Clinefelter previously worked in private practice at the Donnelly Law Office, where he represented clients in criminal, child protection, civil commitment, guardianship, and conservatorship matters. He also served as an assistant county attorney and a conciliation court referee in Mower County, and he is the chair of the Tenth District Ethics Committee. Clinefelter serves on the boards of KSMQ Public Television, Cedar Valley Services, and the Austin Youth Soccer Association. He was also a member of the Michael H. Seibel Family Visitation and Exchange Center Consortium.

Jeremy Clinefelter
Jeremy Clinefelter
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Debra Groehler: Debra Groehler is a managing attorney in the Civil Division of the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office, where she supervises a team of attorneys who handle child protection, adult protection, and juvenile delinquency cases. Groehler previously worked as the executive director of Legal Assistance of Olmsted County. Her community involvement includes serving as a member of the Juvenile Law Committee at the Minnesota County Attorneys Association and as secretary of the Next Chapter Ministry Board of Directors. She has also volunteered for the Rochester Public Schools and for the Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota.

Debra Groehler
Debra Groehler
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Dwight Luhmann: Dwight Luhmann is a solo practitioner and the Preston city attorney. He practices in the areas of criminal law, family law, estate planning, real estate, probate, and civil litigation. Luhmann also serves as the prosecuting attorney for the cities of Rushford and Wykoff. Luhmann previously worked as an attorney at David A. Joerg, P.A. His community involvement includes serving as the chair of the Preston Economic Development Authority, the president of the Fillmore County Law Library Board, and the parent attorney representative for the Fillmore County Children’s Justice Initiative. Luhmann is a past board member and president of the Preston Area Community Foundation. He is also a past board member of Grace Church in Stewartville.

Dwight Luhmann
Dwight Luhmann
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You can learn more about the judicial selection process on the Governor's Judicial Appointments website. 

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