Hennepin County sheriff won’t seek reelection after drunk driving crash

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson, who drove drunk in a county-owned vehicle at 126 miles an hour and then lied to police about being behind the wheel, says he will not seek reelection in November.

“This was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in my life, but after spending the past month having discussions with family, friends, and supporters, I realize that this decision is best for the community, our agency and for me,” Hutchinson said in an email to sheriff’s office staff Wednesday morning.

Hutchinson said he plans to serve out the rest of his term.

Hutchinson had just left a Minnesota Sheriff’s Association conference in Alexandria when he crashed his county-owned 2021 Ford Explorer into the Interstate 94 median five miles outside of the city. The sheriff pled guilty in December to fourth-degree driving while intoxicated, saying at the time that he planned to run for re-election.

But Hutchinson’s campaign funding dried up after the drunk-driving crash, closing any path the sheriff had to re-election. Hutchinson had gotten just one $250 campaign contribution in the 23 days after his Dec. 8 arrest, according to his 2021 year-end campaign finance report.

Support for the sheriff quickly eroded after court records and police reports about the crash became public. Hutchinson is shown on squad car video repeatedly claiming that he wasn’t driving, when questioned by a Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy.

A majority of the Hennepin County Board called for his resignation. Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, and numerous state lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have also called for Hutchinson to step down.

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News