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Former U.S. Sen. Dean Barkley files for Minnesota Supreme Court seat

Barkley, who came to prominence as campaign manager for former Gov. Jesse Ventura, is challenging Associate Justice Barry Anderson.

Dean Barkley, who came to prominence as campaign manager for former Gov. Jesse Ventura, and was later appointed by Ventura to a brief U.S. Senate term, has filed to run in November for a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

He’s challenging incumbent Supreme Court Associate Justice Barry Anderson, who was appointed to the court in 2004 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Anderson had previously been on the state Court of Appeals, appointed by Gov. Arne Carlson.

Two other state Supreme Court members up for election this year — Chief Justice Lorie Gildea and Associate Justice David Stras — so far have no challengers. Filing ends June 5.

Barkley helped found the Minnesota Reform Party, which later became today’s Independence Party of Minnesota, and he managed Ventura’s surprise victory in 1998. Ventura then appointed Barkely as director of the state’s Office of Strategic and Long Range Planning.

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And when U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash shortly before the 2002 election, Ventura appointed Barkley to fill the Senate seat for 61 days until election winner Norm Coleman was sworn in.

Barkley then ran for the U.S. Senate in 2008 as an Independence Party candidate, but came in third behind U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Coleman.

Supreme Court justices are usually appointed by the governor when there is a retirement or resignation, but then the justices run for re-election every six years. Incumbents are rarely ousted by voters.

As to his run for the Supreme Court, Barkley is quoted by the Star Tribune saying:

“I decided to try a different approach.”

The paper also reports that while Barkley knows he’s limited in how much he can campaign for the court, he said Minnesotans “know who I am and know how my mind works and I think I’ve got a good track record.”