Former state Sen. Debbie Johnson elected chairwoman of judiciary group

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Former State Senator Debbie Johnson, R-Ham Lake, has been elected chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Minnesota Citizens for an Independent Judiciary at the inaugural meeting of the organization’s board.

Minnesota Citizens for an Independent Judiciary (MNCIJ) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit corporation founded in 2012 under the provisions of the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act and organized for the purpose of promoting public awareness, understanding of, and confidence in Minnesota’s elected judiciary.

Johnson represented the residents of northern Anoka County in the Senate from 2001-2011.  Well-regarded by her colleagues, she served as the lead Republican member of the Senate Tax Committee; represented the Senate on the state’s Major Transportation Projects Commission; and served as a committeewoman with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Forest Lake Area businessman and civic leader Benjamin Hedberg was named president and executive director.

Hedberg, a 1996 graduate of Forest Lake High School, and a former political consultant and senate staffer, also serves as a member of the board of directors, and is the former corporate secretary, for the Legislative Evaluation Assembly of Minnesota, a respected 39-year-old civic nonprofit corporation.

Jonathan Bien, of Cambridge, was elected secretary/treasurer.

The public is invited to learn more about the 150 year history of Minnesota’s popularly elected courts by visiting the MNCIJ website, or by e-mailing them at [email protected]


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