Three candidates named for upcoming judicial vacancy

Published 6:02 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022

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The Commission on Judicial Selection on Tuesday recommended three candidates for consideration to fill a vacancy in Minnesota’s Third Judicial District. The vacancy will occur upon the retirement of Judge Steven Schwab.

The seat will be chambered in Albert Lea in Freeborn County.

Schwab has been a judge since 2008. 

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The three candidates are Stephanie Haedt, Christy Hormann and Natalie Martinez.

Stephanie Haedt

Haedt is an attorney and shareholder with Peterson, Kolker, Haedt & Benda, Ltd., in Albert Lea, where she serves as the chief financial officer and ethics counsel for the firm. Her practice includes a variety of civil matters, including employment, business/corporate, family, contracts, estate planning, medical assistance, civil litigation and municipal law.

Stephanie Haedt

Haedt was previously an attorney with the Cooper Law Firm in Minneapolis. 

Her community involvement includes serving on the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce board, the Austin Human Rights Commission and the Freeborn County Bar Association. She also serves as a mock trial judge with the Minnesota State High School League. 

She has been recognized by Minnesota Lawyer as a Minnesota Attorney of the Year and an Up & Coming Attorney, as a Top Woman Attorney in Minnesota by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, and has received the Third Judicial District Pro Bono Award. 

Christy Hormann

Hormann is the chief deputy Steele County attorney.

Christy Hormann

In addition to her managerial responsibilities, her caseload consists of civil commitments, guardianships or conservatorships, and adult felony criminal cases. 

She was previously an assistant Ramsey County attorney in the criminal division. Hormann also serves on the Third Judicial District Veterans Treatment Court and the Steele County Community Corrections Advisory Board. 

Her community involvement includes serving on the board of directors for the Crisis Resource Center and the Steele County Safety Camp. She is also a member of the Promoting Peace Planning Committee and a mock trial judge with the Minnesota State High School League. 

Natalie Martinez

Martinez is an associate attorney at Donnelly Law Office, a part-time public defender in Freeborn County and a Mower County conciliation court referee.

Natalie Martinez

She works primarily in the areas of family law, criminal defense and child protection. Previously, she was an attorney with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, providing representation to victims of domestic abuse in family law matters. 

Her community involvement includes volunteering with her local community theater, serving on the Freeborn County and 10th District Bar Associations, and serving on the boards of the First Lutheran Church and the Crime Victim’s Crisis Center.


For more information about the judicial selection process, please visit the Governor’s Judicial Appointments webpage.