MINNEAPOLIS – Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek is running for re-election in 2018.
The third-term sheriff made the announcement in a Facebook post, surprising many who thought he would seek the Republican nomination for governor.
“I am very proud of my profession, and it is an honor every day to serve with the men and women of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. Serving as a peace officer is my life’s calling,” Stanek wrote in the Facebook post.
“In the past few years I have worked to address the crisis of untreated mental illness, reduce violent crime, engage the community to build trust between residents and law enforcement, and bring law enforcement resources to fight the opioid epidemic,” Stanek added. “This work has become personal to me and to my family, and it is with their love and support that I choose to rededicate my efforts for the next four years to this work.”
Stanek has a long history in law enforcement and public office. He was a Minneapolis police officer for over 30 years, and served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from Maple Grove for nine years. He was also the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety under former Governor Tim Pawlenty.
With Stanek out of the running for governor, the Republican field is starting to firm up. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood), Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman, St. Cloud Native Christopher Chamberlin, and Phillip C. Parish are seeking the Republican nomination. Some speculate House Speaker Kurt Daudt will also throw his hat in the ring.
On the Democrats side, there are five candidates seeking nomination so far including State Auditor Rebecca Otto, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, State Rep. Tina Liebling (D-Rochester), State Rep. Erin Murphy (D-St. Paul), and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz.