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Ramsey County Board has rare shake-up; sheriff showdowns in Ramsey, Washington counties

November 7, 2018

The Ramsey County Board will get a rare shake-up as political newcomer Trista MatasCastillo ousted longtime County Board Member Janice Rettman in a landslide Tuesday.

The DFL-endorsed MatasCastillo, who served for 16 years in the armed forces, vowed to make county services more accessible. She works for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, whose mission is to get homeless veterans off the street. Before running for the board, she started a nonprofit to help female veterans.

Rettman, who has held the seat since 1997, earned a reputation as the boards oftentimes lone dissenter on tax hikes and pricey projects.

Former sheriff vs. incumbent

In Ramsey County, Vadnais Heights Mayor Bob Fletcher, who was sheriff from 1995 to 2011, was in a tight race Tuesday night with Sheriff Jack Serier, the hand-picked successor of the man who ousted Fletcher at the polls in 2010.

Serier, 50, joined the Sheriffs Office in 2011. He was appointed sheriff by the County Board in 2017 to replace Matt Bostrom, who defeated Fletcher in 2010 and stepped down to study in England.

The DFL-backed Serier has raised staffing levels and stopped holding detainees for federal immigration agents. Fletcher, 63, has called for immediate implementation of body cameras and promised to bolster drug treatment and crime prevention programs.

New sheriff in Washington

Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry, who was appointed last year, easily beat Wyoming Police Chief Paul Hoppe for his first full term. It was the countys first contested sheriffs race since 2006.

Starry joined the Washington County Sheriffs Office in 1993 and was named by the County Board to replace Sheriff Bill Hutton, who retired in 2017 during his third term.

Hoppe, who has been Wyomings police chief for the past nine years, previously worked for sheriffs offices in Washington and Hennepin counties.

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