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Midwest About to Gain Its First Openly Gay Sheriff? Looks Like It!

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Nov 9, 2018

The race was whisker-close, and the results have yet to be officially certified, but it looks to be the case that in Minnesota an openly gay candidate for the office of Hennepin County Sheriff prevailed over a three-term incumbent. That means that the Midwest is probably about to gain its first openly gay sheriff, media sources report.

Local newspaper the Star Tribune recounted the razor-thin margin by which Dave "Hutch" Hutchinson defeated twelve-year incumbent Rich Stanek, despite Stanek having received the endorsement of the sheriff deputies' union.

Stanek, the article said, has commented only to claim that the race is "too close to call," but the Star Tribune reported that the 2,300 votes by which Hutchinson won are a large enough margin that a publicly funded recount will not be triggered. If Stanek wishes to pay out of pocket for a recount, though, he might still pursue one.

The Huffington Post attributed Hutchinson's apparent win in part to his promise not to coordinate with federal immigration officials with respect to detainees held in custody by the sheriff's department.

"He's married to an immigrant. This is personal for him," Hutchinson campaign spokesperson Jeremy Zoss said.

The Star Tribune quoted immigration attorney and podcaster Kara Lynum, who said, "I think it's great news for immigrants in Hennepin County who would've been concerned about interacting with the Sheriff's Office at all."

The Star Tribune left out mention of Hutchinson's sexuality until the article's next to last paragraph, just before quoting Hutchinson as saying, "Together, we're going to make Hennepin County a safer and more welcoming place, no matter where you come from, what you look like, who you worship or who you love."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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