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Dakota County Attorney By Day, Elvis By Night?

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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HASTINGS (WCCO) — When you think of Elvis impersonators, Las Vegas probably comes to mind. However, there’s one here in Minnesota whose performance – and day job – is surprising audiences.

Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom is known as a man of the law. His experience is on display throughout the County Attorney’s office. But there’s one Elvis plaque that seems out of place – until you see him outside his office.

“In Minnesota, I think I’m the only elected official who is an Elvis impersonator. No one has ever corrected me,” said Backstrom.

His transformation takes minutes, but the change speaks for itself. A sparkling jumpsuit upstages his usual business attire and his accessories go far beyond a simple tie.

“Any good impersonator gotta have a few rings,” said Backstrom. “Elvis loved his rings.”

Backstrom has had the last 15 years to perfect the look and he’s come a long way from his first performance.

“At my 20th high school reunion, I was coaxed up on a karaoke stage to sing and I did a little Elvis and the rest is history,” said Backstrom.

Like any good impersonator, he covers the Elvis classics and there are no objections to these moves — at least from the audience.

“I got a little arthritis these days and, unfortunately, over the next few days my knees are going to be bothering me,” said Backstrom, after a performance.

Music brings out a side few see in the Dakota County Attorney

“It’s a stress reliever. Let’s face it. I have a difficult job, a tough job. I see some terrible things,” said Backstrom. “This is my outlet.”

The County Attorney told Rachel he usually gets a gig every few weeks. He never asks to be paid, but he does take donations for a yearly anti-drug poster contest for students.

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