Michelle MacDonald, the controversial Republican endorsed candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014, has been recommended by the Republican Party of Minnesota Judicial Elections Committee to be endorsed again by the Republican Party of Minnesota for the Minnesota Supreme Court.
MacDonald was endorsed by Republicans in 2014 to run against Justice David Lillehaug for a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court. After MacDonald was endorsed, news broke that she was facing criminal charges for suspicion of drunken driving and resisting arrest.
News that MacDonald was recommended for endorsement was first reported by Harry Niska, an attorney, and Republican activist. Niska said he and only one additional member of the Republican Party of Minnesota Judicial Elections Committee voted against recommending MacDonald for endorsement.
MacDonald confirmed this evening that she did meet with the Republican Party of Minnesota Judicial Elections Committee and that she would again be seeking the Republican Party of Minnesota’s endorsement for the Minnesota Supreme Court.
In September 2014, MacDonald was found not guilty of drunk driving but was found guilty of refusing to submit to breath testing, obstructing the legal process and speeding.
MacDonald lost to Lillehaug by just 7 points — 53 percent to 46 percent in November 2014.
Moments after MacDonald was sentenced in April 2015, MacDonald announced she would run again as a judicial candidate.
MacDonald is one of the attorneys for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who has been charged with six counts of felony deprivation of parental rights involving the disappearance of her two daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki.
The sisters disappeared in April 2013 during a divorce and custody dispute between their parents. Samantha and Gianna’s father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013.
The girls were later found on a ranch in western Minnesota, over 2 1/2 years after they ran from their Lakeville home to a car reportedly driven by Grazzini-Rucki.
Dede Evavold, who served as MacDonald’s campaign manager during her 2014 run for the Minnesota Supreme Court, has also been charged with two counts of felony deprivation of parental rights. Evavold was listed as the chair of MacDonald’s campaign until earlier today.
MacDonald is still considered a “person of interest” by law enforcement in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters and the investigation is ongoing.
Last month, both MacDonald and Grazzini-Rucki appeared in an episode of ABC’s “20/20” which focused on the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.
At the end of the show, Grazzini-Rucki was asked by Elizabeth Vargas from ABC’s “20/20” to provide any evidence to prove her allegations of abuse by David Rucki.
Both MacDonald and Grazzini-Rucki were unable to provide any evidence.
Republicans will decide this Friday if MacDonald will be endorsed again for the Minnesota Supreme Court during the Republican Party of Minnesota’s State Convention in Duluth.
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