Dave Hutchinson’s victory over Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek officially certified

November 13, 2018

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Staneks defeat at the polls was officially certified Tuesday by the Hennepin County Canvassing Board, which found no errors in the vote totals announced last week.

Stanek was defeated by Dave (Hutch) Hutchinson, a Metro Transit sergeant who was largely unknown but who beat the sheriff with a grassroots campaign that delivered overwhelming vote totals in Minneapolis precincts. Hutchinson has pledged a more progressive, open, inclusive department.

According to unofficial returns reported last week, Hutchinson beat Stanek by 2,340 out of nearly 530,000 ballots, a margin of 0.44 percent. The canvassing board said there was no change in those numbers.

Stanek has seven days to request a recount, but he would have to pay for it at a cost of $95,000. Candidates may ask for a publicly-financed recount only if the margin between winner and loser is 0.25 percent or less of the total vote cast.

Stanek had declined to comment on the election until after the canvassing board proofed the results for possible errors. The board includes county officials, including the auditor and some commissioners.

Staneks campaign issued a brief statement last week saying that the race was too close to call, and the sheriff declined to return numerous phone calls seeking comment.

In a letter to staffers last week, Stanek said the agency would move forward regardless of the outcome but didnt explicitly mention it was facing a transition to a new sheriff.

Stanek, a former legislator and police officer, has served as Hennepin County sheriff for 12 years and was elected in previous races by wide margins. Ramsey County voters also turned out their incumbent sheriff, Jack Serier, in favor of longtime former sheriff Bob Fletcher.

David Chanen 612-673-4465

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