Montana Supreme Court Justice Laurie McKinnon of Choteau informed the media last week she will not seek reelection next year.
McKinnon, 59, a former Teton County deputy attorney and 9th Judicial District judge, won election to the high court in 2012. She defeated attorney Edmund Sheehy Jr.
McKinnon told the media that her husband, Gary Pannabecker, a dentist who formerly worked for the Indian Health Service in Browning, recently took a new job in a health clinic near Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
She also said she didn’t consider herself a partisan person, and that she wasn’t looking forward to another partisan-tinged campaign. While Supreme Court races in Montana are nonpartisan, Republicans, conservatives and business interests lined up behind McKinnon in the 2012 campaign for her Supreme Court seat, and Democrats and liberal-leaning groups sided with Sheehy.
McKinnon grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and earned her law degree from the University of Baltimore. She moved to Cut Bank in 1995 and served as a prosecutor for Teton and Glacier counties before winning election as state district judge in 2006. She and her family lived in Choteau for a number of years.