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3 seek South Central District judgeship

3 seek South Central District judgeship


Three area attorneys are seeking a judgeship in the South Central District, and three incumbents are running unopposed for the seats they hold.

Gabrielle Goter of Mandan, Scott Miller of Bismarck, and Bonnie Storbakken of Bismarck have filed petitions for a six-year term currently held by Judge Thomas Schneider. Schneider has served since the 1980s and announced late last year that he would not run for reelection in 2020.

Miller has served as a deputy Burleigh County state’s attorney since April 2019. He earned a law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1993 and holds master’s degrees in business and accounting. He served as a judicial extern in U.S. District Court and as a law clerk in state trial courts. Miller also has worked in private practice and in the banking industry.

Storbakken holds a juris doctorate from the University of North Dakota. She has served as the executive secretary of the North Dakota Board of Medicine since 2017. She was Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s senior policy adviser and has served as a North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights commissioner. She worked in private practice from 2005-13, prior to which she was staff attorney and program director for the State Bar Association of North Dakota.

Goter has served as assistant Morton County state’s attorney since 2010. She earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and Spanish at UND in 2005, and a juris doctorate in 2009. She’s worked as an intern or extern at the Morton County State’s Attorney's Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office in Bismarck, and the Grand Forks Public Defender’s Office. She also has served as a special assistant state’s attorney for Emmons, Burleigh, Grant, Sioux and Kidder counties.

Voters in the June primary will send two of the three to the general election in November.

Judges David Reich, Douglas Bahr and James Hill are running unopposed for seats they currently hold. Hill was appointed to the seat in 2014 and reelected in 2016. He will serve a six-year term.

Bahr was appointed to the bench in 2018. State law requires an appointed judge to sit for two years and then run for the balance of the term, in this case two years.

Reich will serve a six-year term. He was appointed to the position in 2006 and reelected in 2008 and 2014.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or


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