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Sheriff Rich Stanek 'Exploring All Options' After County Board Certifies His Defeat

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- For the first time in more than 10 years, Hennepin County has a new sheriff.

But the current one says not so fast.

In last week's election, Dave "Hutch" Hutchinson beat out Sheriff Rich Stanek by 2,300 votes. The result was certified by the Hennepin County Canvassing Board Tuesday morning.

Sheriff Stanek is congratulating Hutch on the results, but he told WCCO-TV's Esme Murphy he is not ready to concede.

Sheriff Rich Stanek
Rich Stanek in 2018 (credit: CBS)

"Look, the canvassing board met today, seven days after the election on November 6. We acknowledge that. We acknowledge the populist vote, we acknowledge that he is sheriff-elect as it currently stands," Stanek said.

We asked if he is looking into challenging the vote totals with a possible recount, which he would have to pay for.

"I am exploring all the options available to me," he said. There are several ways to do that. I'm not prepared to discuss them this afternoon. What you just laid out is one way."

At the county canvassing board's meeting Tuesday, the county elections manager said if Stanek wants a recount, he would have to pay for it because Hutchinson won by more than 25 percent. The cost of the recount would be at least $95,000. Stanek has until Tuesday, November 20 at 5 p.m. to file for a recount.

Dave Hutchinson
Sheriff-Elect Dave Hutchinson (credit: CBS)

Before becoming the Hennepin County Sheriff in 2007, Stanek served for eight years as a Republican member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from Maple Grove. He also served two years as Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Commissioner of Public Safety.

Last year, Stanek sat across from President Donald Trump at a White House Conference on opioids. Stanek showed us a photograph in his office showing he had also met with President Barack Obama.

Hutchinson, the DFL-endorsed candidate, is a sergeant in the Metro Transit Police Department. He campaigned on a platform to abolish ICE, but is now sounding a more cautious note.

"We are going to talk to the county attorney, and I have some volunteer immigration attorneys we are going to come up with that," Hutchinson said.

Stanek says as he considers his options to challenge the election results, he will continue to work on a transition with Hutchinson.

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