Witt elected Hennepin County Sheriff

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Voters have chosen Dawanna Witt in a closely watched race against Joseph Banks for Hennepin County Sheriff.

KSTP called the race around 10:04 p.m. after Witt earned 64% of votes.

Either candidate would have been the first Black sheriff in the county.

Late Tuesday night, Witt issued the following statement regarding the win:

“I am honored to be the next Sheriff of Hennepin County and would like to thank everyone who participated in our democratic process. With crime on the minds of so many Hennepin County residents, I believe my experience and message of focusing on safer communities and reform resonated. I am committed to leading the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office with experience, transparency, and compassion. As your next Sheriff, together we will build a safer and more equitable Hennepin County – a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

I would also like to thank my opponent, Chief Banks. In a time in which many political campaigns devolve into name-calling and ad hominem attacks, Chief Banks and I were able to focus on our respective visions for what the Office of Sheriff should be. I hope that more campaigns in the future can be as respectful and centered on the issues.”

Major Dawanna Witt, Sheriff-elect of Hennepin County

Witt won 57% of the vote in the August primaries, with Banks winning 22%.

Current sheriff Dave Hutchinson announced in February that he would not run for re-election after he was criticized for his drunken-driving crash last year in which he totaled a county vehicle.

CLICK HERE FOR KSTP’S FULL ELECTIONS COVERAGE and tune into 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS to watch as other Minnesota and Wisconsin races are called in real time.

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