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Letter: Vote for candidates on experience, work ethic

I'm Larry Stauber, your incumbent judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. I have 33 years of legal experience, 31 years in a broad law practice (including 28 years as a public defender) and 2 ½ years on the Court of Appeals. On Oct. 2 I was honored for my 4 ½ years of active military service by raising the United States flag at the Minnesota Twins game. In response to a recent editorial letter from my opponent's wife alleging that I have wronged her husband, it is simply untrue. She failed to identify the issue, so I can't respond. My honesty and integrity are beyond reproach. My honesty can be verified by asking the judges, lawyers and residents in Duluth and northeastern Minnesota.

I have only met my opponent twice, once in passing, and a second time at the Minneapolis Star Tribune endorsement forum. He does not challenge my experience, judicial competence, work ethic or decisions. Instead, he merely states that he does not like Minnesota's constitutional judicial election process. However, any change in election law starts with the legislature, and the courts have no part in that process. Along with all Minnesota judges I am bound by the Judicial Code requiring judicial candidates to "...refrain from political activity."

My opponent, however, has decided to reject the code and solicit and accept the endorsement from a political party. All judges have also signed the Minnesota State Bar Association pledge agreeing "...that I will not identify myself a member ... of a political organization." Similarly, my opponent has rejected the MSBA pledge of nonpartisan elections. I have many non-political endorsements such as the Range Bar Association, the Minneapolis Police Federation, and the Academy of Minnesota Trial Lawyers.

Additionally, 110 of Minnesota's Appellate Law Super Lawyers by Minnesota Law & Politics and identified in The Best Lawyers in America have signed a "Statement of Support" of me. In my campaign for election, I only ask two things of the public: first, educate yourselves on the judiciary, and second, make an informed choice between my opponent and me. Ask, judges, lawyers and residents in each candidate's community about a candidate's experience, work ethic, and most importantly his or her honesty.

Judge Larry Stauber