Maybe you haven’t thought that much about who you support in the Hennepin County Sheriff’s race. That’s okay -- you have a little time still.
But just so you know, Hillary Clinton has already picked her candidate.
The former secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee (in 2016, before some pan-dimensional barrier collapsed and we all ended up in the Upside Down) just endorsed 19 candidates from the Run For Something program, which recruits and supports “young diverse progressives” to run for office.
One of them is Dave “Hutch” Hutchinson, who is trying to unseat Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.
Hutchinson, a Metro Transit Police Sergeant, lives in Bloomington with his husband, Justin, and a dog named Nike. He’s pro union, anti-deporting undocumented immigrants just because they’ve had an unrelated brush with the law, and thinks Hennepin County can do better than Stanek.
“The only reason I’m running is because I think the old sheriff’s leadership has to change,” he says.
Stanek’s base of support is largely from the outer suburbs. Immigration advocates have criticized him for being altogether too forthcoming with ICE about foreign-born inmates, environmental activists aren’t a fan of the fact he sent deputies to work the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, and liberals overall aren’t huge fans about some of the positive attention he’s given President Donald Trump.
Still, it’s hard to dethrone a 12-year incumbent. Stanek won the primary with more than 49 percent of the vote as opposed to Hutchinson’s 35 percent. Hutchinson is hopeful Clinton’s nod can give his effort some more wattage.
“She’s obviously a very well-established, powerful woman,” he says.
No matter what happens, he says, he thinks he’s succeeded in getting the sheriff’s race more attention than it has in the past. It’s one of those races where the biggest battle is making people care about it. In 2014, only 347,000 picked a candidate for sheriff, and that’s out of about 714,000 people registered on the morning of election day.
This year, he’s hoping people care enough to change things. And if it takes a name from the top of the ballot two years ago to make them care, so be it.