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Judge Peterson has the qualifications

If you are like most voters, when you step into the voting booth on Nov. 2, you won't know very much about the judicial candidates. If you haven't had to be in court, there's no reason why you would know much about a judge. But the outcome of every judicial election is important to the people of Minnesota. That's why we want to tell you why we support Judge Randolph Peterson as a candidate for reelection to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Before Judge Peterson became a judge, he served with us for ten years in the Minnesota Senate (1981-1990). And although one of us is a Democrat and one is a Republican, we both saw personal qualities that we believe make Judge Peterson an excellent judge.

Judge Peterson is fair minded. He was never one to rush to judgment, and he wanted to hear what people on all sides of an issue had to say before he made a decision. He was a good listener and took the time to understand what people were saying. He considered all of the evidence with an open mind, and it was the strength of a person's argument, rather than the side a person was on, that persuaded him in the end.

He also had the habit of thinking hard about the issues before him. If an answer or an explanation didn't make sense, he followed up with more questions until he got to the heart of the matter. He wanted to understand how things worked, and he wasn't satisfied until he had the information that explained the source of a problem or the key to a solution.

And, most important, he was committed to playing by the rules and believed that the rules apply equally to everyone. He was quick to say that the majority should be careful to treat the minority the way it would want to be treated if the table was turned.

To keep our judiciary from gradually morphing into a partisan political branch of government, we need to elect judges who have these qualities of character. We need judges who will be fair and impartial and who will make their decisions according to the law without being swayed by political influence. We have known Judge Peterson for thirty years, and we know that he has these qualities. And that's why we will be supporting him on Nov. 2.

Roger Moe, Minnesota Senate majority leader (1981-2002)

Duane Benson, Minnesota Senate minority leader (1987-1992)