By Brenda Erdahl
In November, all 87 sheriffs in Minnesota are going to be up for election, but Wright County Sheriff Joe Hagerty won’t be among them. On Feb. 1, Hagerty officially announced that he will not seek re-election and will finish out his term after eight years as Wright County Sheriff.
Hagerty, the 27th sheriff of Wright County since three years before Minnesota became a state in 1855, said he has been mulling to decision for some time, and last week made the final decision to walk away from his post at the end of this term.
“I’ve been thinking about it since October whether I was going to run again,” Hagerty said. “I think we’ve accomplished a lot in the last seven years and I thought I would go out while I still enjoyed it. I’ve always told people that I wouldn’t step out midterm. I’m 56 now and I’ve been on the job for 33 years, which is awful long for this line of work. I know I could do a couple more years with no problem. But, I didn’t want to stay too long and I didn’t think I’d want to potentially have the job five more years.”
The demands of the position were a double-edged sword for Hagerty. He enjoyed the nonstop nature of the job, but wanted to take some time away while he was still young enough to enjoy his retirement.
The rigors of the work often kept him away from his family and the prospect of doing it for five more years wasn’t something Hagerty felt he could put his whole heart and soul into, and thus he felt the time was right to make the announcement so those looking to assume the position of sheriff would have time to run a campaign.
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