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President Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated to be Minnesota's next federal judge a longtime federal prosecutor whose résumé includes complex international sex trafficking cases and the recent prosecution of GOP operative Anton Lazzaro.

Biden selected Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Provinzino to replace Wilhelmina Wright, who retired earlier this year and was once in the running for the U.S. Supreme Court. The president picked Provinzino from a shortlist of candidates sent by Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and gathered by a judicial selection committee chaired by former Minnesota Appeals Court Judge Lucinda Jesson.

"She's had a lot of experience in leadership and has a very good heart, which is always good in a judge, as well as the experience to do the job," Klobuchar said in an interview.

Born and raised in St. Cloud, Provinzino has spent her entire legal career in Minnesota, where she has been a federal prosecutor since 2010. Last year, she received the Attorney General's David Margolis Award for Exceptional Service — the top award given by the Justice Department to its employees — for prosecuting a Thai-based international sex trafficking conspiracy that victimized hundreds of women.

"Laura Provinzino has spent her career serving Minnesotans, advancing justice and protecting the rule of law," Smith said in a statement. "She will make an exceptional U.S. District Court Judge and I want to congratulate her on her nomination."

Provinzino, 48, was also one of three prosecutors who secured a guilty verdict last year in the teen sex trafficking trial of Lazzaro, a businessman and former Republican activist who was later sentenced to 21 years in prison on charges involving five 15- to 16-year-old girls he paid to have sex with him.

"The fact that she has that experience taking on those complicated cases from money laundering to sex trafficking is going to be very helpful," Klobuchar said. "I think it's a good case for me to make with my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee that she most definitely has this experience that you need to be a federal judge."

Provinzino served as a law clerk for Eighth Circuit Judge Diana Murphy from 2003 to 2004 and worked as an associate at Robins Kaplan before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota. Her education includes a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University and a B.A. with honors from Lewis and Clark College.

Biden nominated Provinzino alongside two other federal district court nominees for Pennsylvania and California, respectively, on Wednesday. A White House statement said the selections reflected the president's "promise to ensure that the nation's courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds."

Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who tracks judicial selection nationally, said he believed Provinzino stands a "very good chance of being confirmed this year." The White House and Senate Democrats have publicly vowed to confirm all pending nominees by the end of the year. Tobias said it is realistic Provinzino's nomination gets a July hearing and eventual vote by fall.

Klobuchar called Provinzino "the right person for this moment" and noted that all Minnesota judicial nominees while Klobuchar has been in office have passed with bipartisan support. That will be crucial if Provinzino hopes to be confirmed before the November general election.

"I will find a way to get her confirmed," Klobuchar said.