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5 area towns have contested judge races June 8

Five area municipal judge positions are up for election in southwest North Dakota. Donald Groll and Keith King are vying for the municipal judgeship in Bowman.

Roline Taylor, who was the Bowman municipal judge for about 16 years, is not running for re-election.

Groll said is running in an effort to give back to the community he has been a part of for 35 years.

"I just feel like I want to explore the law world a little bit and help Bowman out a little bit," Groll said. "I'm originally from Dickinson and I was an educator for 32 years. I raised my kids and my family here and I just want to keep it a nice place to live."

King, who was Bowman's chief of police for five years, wants to explore different areas of law.

"I think this would be a good fit for me, because as police chief I'd act as the court officer for this court," King said, adding he was in law enforcement for about 20 years.

"And, of course, since you're hearing city ordinances, I was in charge of training other officers to enforce those ordinances, so I think I know the city ordinances probably better than most people," King said.

Groll is semiretired and is on various community boards.

"It's a great place to live right now and I'd just like to keep it that way," Groll said. "I'd be more than happy to help out."

King has lived in Bowman for about seven years and said he's thought about running for municipal judge for awhile.

"Our local judge was retiring, so I thought now would be a good time to run myself," King said. "As the chief of police I worked with the past judge, Roline Taylor, and I thought she did a good job. She had run unopposed for several years and I wouldn't have run against her."

Taylor said no prior law experience is required to be a municipal judge.

"They send out information from the state office and then you go to meetings once a year," Taylor said.

Judges also must study municipal ordinances, and Taylor said the local police department is a big help.

She will miss being judge and wishes the two candidates luck, Taylor said.

"I'm sure they'd both be good," Taylor said.

Those running for municipal judge in other local communities are unopposed.

Robert Keogh is running for re-election in Dickinson. Karen Saxowsky was appointed as municipal judge in Hebron a year and a half ago is taking another stab at it.

David Walth is running for the judgeship in Dunn Center and is rerunning for the position in Dodge. Attempts to reach Walth were unsuccessful.

Municipal judge candidates in the area

- Robert Keogh: Dickinson

"I've been doing it for 28 years and I really enjoy the work," Keogh said. "I can't say that I've ever had a dull day on the job and it's been an honor and a privilege to serve as a judge."

- Karen Saxowsky: Hebron

"They need a judge in these small towns and they can't get people to do it," Saxowsky said, adding she enjoys doing it. "The fun part is the weddings. Those are great fun."

- David Walth: Dodge, Dunn Center

Walth was unavailable for comment.