Heading into the summer months, both Minneapolis and St. Paul are well above the record paces set just last year.
With renewed calls for Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson to resign because of his dangerous DWI incident last month, let’s take a look back at how he ascended into the Sheriff’s Office in the first place.
By all accounts, Sheriff Stanek was a popular incumbent, free from scandal, with everyone expecting a reelection similar to his 2014 victory when he won 67% of the vote, including most of the precincts in Minneapolis.
So what changed from 2014 to 2018?
Sheriff Stanek did three things that caught the attention of the Left, specifically of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Attorney General Candidate Keith Ellison.
First, Stanek was an unapologetic supporter of President Donald Trump and his policies. Stanek even travelled to Washington to meet with the President in the Oval Office. Never mind that he did the same thing with President Obama many more times during Obama’s eight years in office. Meeting with the Orange Man was a mortal sin to team Ellison/Omar.
Second, he worked with Trump on immigration policies that actually followed federal law. Stanek’s office had a good relationship with the local ICE office and frequently turned criminals over to them for deportation, again, following federal law. Hutchinson talked more about immigration policy than any other issue in his campaign.
Third, Stanek sent Hennepin County Deputies to North Dakota at the request of a local sheriff up there to help with the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The deputies were only there a short time, but the damage was done as far as the far-left environmentalists and Native American activists were concerned.
The trifecta of Trump, immigration and the environment were enough to put a huge target on Stanek’s back, and Hutchinson became the unwitting benefactor of the Ellison/Omar/DFL get-out-the-vote machine in Minneapolis.
The 2018 race became a tale of two cities, or more accurately, a tale of the suburbs verses the City of Minneapolis. Incumbent Sheriff Stanek won 259 of the 288 suburban precincts by a margin of 64,963 votes. But he lost 133 of the 134 Minneapolis precincts by a margin of 67,303 votes. The net margin for Hutchinson was a razor-thin 2,340 votes out of 529,804 votes cast.
Hennepin County suburbs liked Stanek and wanted him reelected. Minneapolis voters got the memo from the DFL and voted for a guy no one had heard of who is now hanging on to the job by a thread after driving drunk and endangering the lives of motorists in Douglas County.