Somerset resident Scott Nordstrand was appointed to be St. Croix County's next circuit court judge.

Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday named Nordstrand, a St. Croix County Board member who once served as Alaska's top law enforcement official, to succeed Eric Lundell on the bench after the longtime judge abruptly announced his resignation in November.

"I am very grateful to Gov. Walker for entrusting me with this important role in our community," Nordstrand said Wednesday. "As I assured him, I will do everything in my power to serve the citizens of St. Croix County with intelligence, fairness and diligence."

In addition to his role on County Board, where he represents the towns of Somerset and St. Joseph, the 60-year-old is past chairman of the St. Croix County Republican Party. He was previously a deputy attorney general in Alaska, where he also served as commissioner of administration. Nordstrand briefly served as Alaska's acting attorney general, as well.

Walker called Nordstrand "an accomplished attorney who has demonstrated impeccable character throughout his career."

"His broad experience, judicial temperament and commitment to the rule of law give me great confidence that he will make an excellent addition to the bench and expand upon his service to the St. Croix County community," the Republican governor said in a news release.

Nordstrand previously worked as a commercial litigator in Alaska before being appointed deputy attorney general there. He served as chief deputy to the Alaska attorney general, overseeing 140 attorneys.

He went on to be appointed Alaska's Department of Administration commissioner, where he supervised 1,000 state employees.

Nordstrand returned to Wisconsin - he received his undergraduate degree at UW-River Falls and was a Hudson School Board member at age 20 - where he worked as in-house counsel for SSG Corp. before continuing on to his current job as counsel for Minneapolis-based Solutran Inc.

The news release included praise from western Wisconsin politicians.

Republican Sheila Harsdorf, a former state senator and the outgoing secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, also praised Nordstrand's experience, adding that he brings a "patient, thoughtful, common-sense approach."

Shannon Zimmerman, a River Falls Republican who was re-elected in November to the Assembly, called Nordstrand "a voice of reason during challenging times" who is committed to his community.

Hudson Mayor Rich O'Connor said Nordstrand "has a way of communicating clearly and persuasively that will no doubt serve him well on the bench."

Others who applied for the judicial vacancy included attorneys John Bjork, James Johnson, Michael Nieskes and Julie Weber.