Hennepin County Sheriff-Elect Dave Hutchinson retains law firm in case of recount

November 15, 2018

In the ongoing saga of the contentious Hennepin County sheriffs race, Sheriff-Elect Dave Hutchinson has retained legal counsel in case defeated Sheriff Rich Stanek asks for a recount.

On Tuesday, the countys canvassing board certified Hutchinson as sheriff. He won the election by 2,340 votes, a small margin of victory but not one that requires an automatic recount.

Stanek has seven days to request a manual recount, but it would cost him $95,000. He hasnt made a decision on a recount, and said he wants to look at voter data before taking any action.

Pursuing a recount is not in the best interest of the Sheriffs Office or the residents of the Hennepin County, Hutchinson campaign spokesman Jeremy Zoss said in a statement.

While we are hopeful that a recount will be avoided, we have taken the precautionary step of retaining Fredrikson and Byron to assist our campaign in the event that outgoing Sheriff Rich Stanek calls for one.

Right now, Zoss said, Hutchinsons team is focused on a smooth and transparent transition and beginning the work of addressing mental health and immigration concerns within the Hennepin County system.

Hutchinsons victory arguably was the biggest upset in Minnesotas midterm election. Stanek has been sheriff for 12 years, and Hutchinson is a sergeant with Metro Transit.

Continued speculation about the possibility of a recount damages the integrity of the electoral process and distracts from the important work of ensuring a smooth transition, Hutchinson said in the campaigns statement.

He added that a recount would take the focus off the important work of the Sheriffs Office and risk hurting deputies morale.

Sheriff Stanek has the right to request and pay for a recount, said Kevin Riach of Minneapolis-based Fredrikson and Byron. Given the margin of victory, and the canvassing boards certification, we are confident the result will not change.

In the statement, Hutchinson offered his gratitude to Stanek.

I appreciate Sheriff Staneks congratulatory message Tuesday, he said. I thank Sheriff Stanek for his years of service in the Sheriffs Office, and I look forward to working with him during the transition.

David Chanen 612-673-4465

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