MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With all 422 Hennepin County precincts reporting, Dave “Hutch” Hutchinson finished ahead of incumbent Rich Stanek in the race for Hennepin County Sheriff.
As of Wednesday morning, Hutchinson leads Stanek by 2,329 votes, though the final result of the race has yet to be certified.
WEB EXTRA: Full 2018 Midterm Election Results
If he is declared the winner, Hutchinson would be the first openly-gay sheriff in the Midwest. He is currently a sergeant in the Metro Transit Police Department.
On Wednesday morning, Hutchinson thanked his supporters, saying “We won this race because of your passion, dedication, and hard work. You made the calls, you knocked on doors, you talked to friends and family. This victory belongs to you. Together, we’re going to make Hennepin County a safer and more welcoming place, no matter where you come from, what you look like, who you worship or who you love.”
Hutchinson’s campaign emphasized increased transparency in law enforcement and a push for what he calls “21st century policing.” He also questioned the department’s role in immigration enforcement.
As for Stanek, he has served three terms as sheriff, and previously spent eight years as a Republican in the Minnesota House of Representatives. He is also the vice president of the National Sheriffs Association.