By John Holler Correspondent:
When Wright County Sheriff Joe Hagerty announced he wouldn’t seek re-election in April, he was asked if he thought that there be a lot of candidates stepping up to try to win the job. His response was he wouldn’t be surprised if there were multiple candidates stepping forward.
As it turned out, before the filing period to announce candidacies came to an end June 5, five contenders threw their hat in the ring. One of them, Stacy Braun of Monticello, ran against Hagerty in his last election in 2014. The four other candidates all work in the Wright County Sheriff’s Office – Sean Deringer of Maple Lake, Mike Kaczmarek of Montrose, Drew Scherber of St. Michael, and Chad Torkelson of Hanover.
Hagerty said he wasn’t surprised at the number of candidate filings since this is a rare situation.
“We haven’t had that many sheriff’s in Wright County,” Hagerty said. “Our history has been that once a sheriff gets elected, he has tended to win reelections. The way the last three sheriff’s have been elected was when the sitting sheriff decided to retire. I think that speaks to the level of service the sheriff’s office has given to the citizens of the county because nobody has been voted out of office in a long time.”
Hagerty said that this is going to be a wide open competition to be the top two vote-getters in the August primary election, which is required when more than two candidates are running for the same office.
“It didn’t come as a surprise at all to me that so many people have filed because you don’t get too many sheriff races where there isn’t an incumbent,” Hagerty said. “It’s kind of like Wild West out there. This is a chance for a lot of people to throw their hat in the ring and let the citizens of Wright County know what they stand for and how they plan to serve the people of the county, which is something we’re very proud of.”
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