Bench + Bar of Minnesota

Gov. Walz appoints John Bowen and Jason Steffen to fill 10th Judicial District vacancies


April 11, 2023 

Contact: Claire Lancaster  



Governor Walz Appoints John Bowen and Jason Steffen to Fill Tenth Judicial District Vacancies 


ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointments of John Bowen and Jason Steffen as district court judges in Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. The seats will be chambered in Buffalo in Wright County and Pine City in Pine County. 

Bowen will be replacing the Honorable Bethany A. Fountain Lindberg for the seat chambered in Wright County. 

“It is my pleasure to appoint John Bowen to the Wright County bench,” said Governor Walz. “His impressive track record of public service and commitment to treating all litigants with fairness and respect will make him a great judge.” 

“John Bowen understands that judges play a critical role in promoting public trust in the justice system, and I am certain that he will approach every case with this in mind.” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “I applaud his appointment.” 

Steffen will be replacing the Honorable Ellen L. Maas for the seat chambered in Pine County. 

“It is my pleasure to appoint Jason Steffen to the Pine County bench,” said Governor Walz. “Having spent a decade of his career as a public defender, he took his impressive academic background and applied it to help those most in need.”

“Jason Steffen has demonstrated a profound sense of fairness and justice in his work, recognizing that approaching his job with humility and understanding is the best way to ensure a just outcome,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “He will be a great addition to the Tenth Judicial District.”

Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District encompasses Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright counties. 


About John Bowen 

John Bowen is the assistant civil division chief in Wright County, where he provides legal advice and representation to the Wright County Board of Commissioners and all Wright County departments. In this role, he also serves as counsel to the Wright County Opioid Settlement Advisory Council and as a member of the Wright County Safe Harbor Task Force. Bowen previously served as an assistant county attorney in Pine County and as a law clerk to the Honorable Margaret Shaw Johnson. His community involvement includes serving as a member of the Wright County Children’s Justice Initiative, Wright County Safe Schools Committee, and the Election Law Committee of the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association. Bowen is also the coach of the Rockford Middle and High School Speech Team. He earned his B.A from St. Olaf College and his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.

About Jason Steffen 

Jason Steffen is an assistant county attorney in Chisago County, where he prosecutes all types of criminal cases. He served as public defender for nearly a decade in the Tenth Judicial District Public Defender’s Office and the Mohave County Public Defender’s Office in Arizona. Steffen has also served as an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and has taught at Hamline University and the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Steffen’s community involvement includes assisting with criminal expungement cases for the Volunteer Lawyers Network and volunteering with Feed My Starving Children and Happy Tails Rescue. He also has volunteered as a judge for the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition and the Summit Cup 1L Motion Argument Competition at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. He earned his B.A. from Georgetown University, J.D. from Harvard Law School, and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. 

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


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