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House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler Enters Race For Hennepin Co. Attorney

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Democratic majority leader in the Minnesota House is looking for a new challenge.

Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-46A) announced Tuesday that he'll be running for Hennepin County Attorney next year, hoping to replace Mike Freeman, who is not seeking re-election.

In recent years, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office has been heavily scrutinized for its handling of police-involved killings and shootings. According to Winkler, new leadership is the best solution.

"My focus would be on building relationships in communities across the county, working with law enforcement to change the way we do policing," he said. "What we're lacking is public leadership, the ability to bring people together, address tough issues as a community, and make a real difference in people's lives."

Winkler has been a proponent of legalizing recreational marijuana. If elected, he said he would consider changing the way the office handles low-level marihuana offences.

Other candidates in the race include former Hennepin County Chief Public Definer Mary Moriarty, assistant Ramsey County Attorney Saraswati Singh, and Richfield City Council member Simon Trautmann.

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