Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said Wednesday he would not seek a second term.
The announcement, posted on his campaign website, comes nearly two months after Hutchinson totaled his county-owned SUV while driving drunk near Alexandria, Minnesota. He pleaded guilty in December to a misdemeanor DWI charge in the accident, and he was sentenced to two years. probation.
“After spending time over the past month talking with family, friends and supporters, I have made the difficult decision not to seek re-election for Hennepin County Sheriff in the 2022 election,” Hutchinson said in the statement.
He also rejected growing calls for his resignation, saying he planned to serve out the rest of his current term and refused “to be pushed out of my role as sheriff by political figures with alternative motives”.
Fellow Democratic Governor Tim Walz and a majority of Hennepin County commissioners are among those who have said Hutchinson should step down.
Hutchinson was returning from a Minnesota Sheriffs Association conference at the Arrowwood Resort in the early morning of Dec. 8 when he crashed the 2021 Ford Explorer about five miles east of Alexandria on Interstate 94.
The accident analysis report showed that Hutchinson had reached a speed of 126 mph and that the driver’s side seat belt was unfastened. Inside the vehicle were three firearms and an unopened bottle of whiskey.
Hutchinson was hospitalized with three broken ribs, as well as head and hip injuries. At first he told the police that he had not driven.
“Hutchinson repeatedly stated that he was not driving and he did not know who was driving. Hutchinson stated at one point that he called a taxi and was a passenger,” a deputy said. of the Douglas County Sheriff in his report on the accident.
According to a urinalysis taken about three hours after the crash, Hutchinson had a blood alcohol level of 0.134. The legal limit for driving in Minnesota is 0.08.
Hutchinson was elected sheriff of Hennepin County in 2018, narrowly defeating incumbent Rich Stanek, who is now running as the Republican candidate for governor of Minnesota.