Born 1964 in Valley City, North Dakota and raised on the family farm and ranch at rural Rogers, North Dakota. He is a 1982 graduate of Barnes County North; a 1986 graduate of Valley City State College; and received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1994. After graduation he became an associate at the Carol S. Nelson law firm of Valley City. He was elected and served as Valley City Municipal Judge from 1996-1998 at which time the Nelson and Lenaburg, Fitzner, Hooper firms merged and he served in the capacity of Assistant City Attorney for Valley City. He was elected Barnes County Commissioner in 1998 and served until 2002. In 2000 he became a partner in the firm of Lenaburg, Fitzner, Nelson, Hooper & Cruff. In 2005 he served briefly as City Attorney for Valley City before being appointed as the Barnes County State’s Attorney where he practiced as a prosecutor until he was elected to the bench in 2012 for the Southeast Judicial District, chambered in Wahpeton, North Dakota; term commencing January 1, 2013. He currently presides over the Richland County DUI Court.