|Dave Hutch is available on your ballot. “WEDGE” hat is available in the Wedge LIVE store.|
Hennepin County Sheriff is a non-partisan office. But that only applies to what’s printed on the ballot; the candidates really do have political affiliations.
Rich Stanek is the Trump-supporting, ICE-cooperating, Republican incumbent, who once admitted to using racial slurs while on the job. The admission about racial slurs came in a deposition when he was sued for police brutality (the case ended in a settlement). In 2006, Stanek used $30,000 in sheriff’s office training funds to produce a “not-so-thinly-veiled campaign video,” depicting events in the aftermath of the I-35 bridge collapse. In 2016, Stanek sent officers to North Dakota to assist in putting down the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
Dave Hutch is the DFL-endorsed challenger, a Metro Transit Police sergeant who works on the north side and surrounding suburbs. His official bio includes humanizing details like the fact that he lives in Bloomington with his husband and his dog. Left out of Dave Hutch’s bio is the fact that he is not Rich Stanek, who, I should reiterate, is a pretty bad guy who supports Trump and a bunch of other hateful policies.
I don’t think Hennepin County wants to vote for a Trumper sheriff in 2018. The problem: how many voters realize that’s what Stanek is? This problem has been made worse by the fact that in recent years Minneapolis DFLers have buddied up to Stanek and endorsed his campaign for Sheriff. In 2014, Stanek was endorsed by Minneapolis City Council Members Lisa Goodman, Abdi Warsame, Barb Johnson, and Blong Yang (never forget).
It’s going to take some work making sure voters know who Rich Stanek is and why he’s not right for Hennepin County. You should vote for Dave Hutch for Sheriff. More importantly, you should volunteer for Dave Hutch. Spend some time in the suburbs enlightening your fellow Democrats so they know how stark this choice is.