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home : news : news May 24, 2016

7/2/2014 11:27:00 AM
Vilas County judge applied for appeals court
Neal Nielsen IIIVilas County Circuit Judge
Neal Nielsen III
Vilas County Circuit Judge

When Judge Mark Mangerson retires this month from the state Court of Appeals, someone will have to carry out the four years remaining on his term.

That person could be Vilas County Circuit Judge Neal Nielsen III.

Nielsen, of Eagle River, is among four people who have applied for the seat, according to names of applicants the governor’s office released to The Lakeland Times in response to a public records request.

Citing the ongoing selection process, Nielsen has declined to comment or confirm whether he is still under consideration.

Nielsen was elected to the bench in Vilas County in 2004, and was re-elected to another six-year term in 2010. He is the chief judge of the Ninth Judicial District, the state court system’s administrative body that covers 12 northern counties.

Other applicants for the position, based at the District 3 Court of Appeals, in Wausau, include: Peter Gunther, of Wausau; Thomas Hruz, of Milwaukee; and Kathleen Grant, of Madison.

Gunther said in an interview he has been eliminated from consideration.

Hruz said if selected he would move within the district, where he has family.

Grant did not return a request for comment as of press time.

Whoever is selected for Mangerson’s seat could seek election to remain on the court.

Mangerson, 65, announced in May that he would be stepping down to spend more time with his family.

Governor Scott Walker appointed Mangerson to the appeals court in 2011. He ran to keep the seat in 2012, winning a six-year spot.

Mangerson is a Rhinelander native and former Oneida County district attorney and circuit judge.

Walker spokesperson Laurel Patrick has said applicants would be reviewed by the governor’s Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, and later by the governor’s office itself.

She said Monday that all four applicants had undergone initial interviews, but did not respond to a question asking which applicants are under active consideration.

Jonathan Anderson may be reached at janderson@lakelandtimes.com.

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