- Associated Press - Friday, July 11, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has appointed his staff attorney to a judgeship in the Southeast Judicial District.

Jerod Tufte has been Dalrymple’s legal counsel the past four years. He will succeed John Paulson, who retired last month after serving more than 30 years on the bench.

Six people applied for the judgeship, and Tufte was among three finalists named by a nominating committee. The others were Cass County prosecutor Cherie Clark and Stutsman County prosecutor Troy LeFevre.

Tufte holds a law degree from Arizona State University, where he graduated first in his law school class in 2002. He has served as a federal appeals court clerk, as an attorney with a Phoenix law firm, and as a state’s attorney in Kidder and Sheridan counties. He also is a member of the National Guard and has served as legal counsel to military commanders, along with serving a tour of duty in Kosovo.

Tufte also holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His community involvement includes serving as a member of the state’s Criminal Justice Information Sharing Board and as a past board member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Robinson.

“Jerod Tufte brings a wealth of legal experience to the bench, including his work as a prosecutor, a private-practice litigator and as legal counsel to the governor’s office,” Dalrymple said in a statement Friday. “He is an exceptional attorney and his integrity, work ethic, judicial temperament, education and experience will serve the people of the Southeast Judicial District very well.”

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