Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and Wright County resident Stacy Braun will challenge incumbent Sheriff Joe Hagerty in the Nov. 4 general election. According to unofficial results posted on the Minnesota Secretary of State website, with all of Wright County’s 43 precincts reporting Tuesday night shortly after 11 p.m., Hagerty received 4,727 votes (74.34) percent to Braun’s 937 votes (14.54 percent). Bruce Doney, a Wright County deputy since 2004, received 781 votes, or 12.12 percent.
Hagerty has served with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office since 1985. A St. Michael resident, Hagerty served on the St. Michael’s City Council for 12 years prior to being elected sheriff. He resides in St. Michael with my family, am a parishioner at St. Michael’s Catholic Church and served on St. Michael’s City Council for the 12 years prior to being elected Sheriff. Hagerty graduated from St. Micheal-Albertville High School, St. Cloud State University and North Hennepin Community College. Hagerty also attended the University of Minnesota and previously has worked in construction, landscaping, cook, excavation, retail, and farming. When contacted Tuesday night, Hagerty was out picking up some of his campaign signs from around Wright County. “I’ll try to redeploy them in October,” Hagerty said referring to his re-election campaign effort. Even with his large margin of victory in the primary run-off, Hagerty said he wasn’t taking anything for granted. “I didn’t know what to expect with this primary,” he said. “The last week or so, I’d been getting a lot of calls, that people had found an orange flyers their mailboxes that didn’t endorse a particular candidate that said, ‘Vote No For Joe’ that when into a bunch of stuff about a lack of deputy training in first aid and some equipment issues. That’s mostly news to me. That was in the Montrose, St. Michael, Albertville and Monticello areas. I didn’t respond to it and get into a war of untruths.” During his primary campaign, Hagerty said he received a lot of supportive comments. “Everything is about partnerships with our schools, businesses and the media, and our residents, and as a result, Wright County is a pretty good place to live.” Hagerty said his recent primary campaigning included three weekend campaigns in a row. “Those were in St. Michael, Albertville and the Corn Carnival, plus I was at the Wright County Fair everyday. I had a lot of people coming up and saying, ‘We support you,’ ” Hagerty said, adding that his department will enter 2015 with a flat budget. “We should be just under budget again, and we’ve had a record of that for the last six or seven years. We’ve controlled the things that we can control” he said. Braun was born in Minneapolis and has lived in Wright County for the past 36 years. He has worked for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office since 1993. During his tenure with Hennepin County, Braun has been assigned to seven different divisions/units: the adult detention division, the K-9 unit, the narcotics unit, the training division, the service division, the patrol division and the employee development unit. His law enforcement training and experience includes criminal investigations and narcotics and he has served as a squad car patrol officer. Braun has said a 2008 arrest and conviction for driving while intoxicated near his Otsego home was the best thing to happen to him, because it changed his life for the better. In previous interviews, Braun has said he has been sober since the arrest. When Braun was contacted Tuesday night, he was checking primary election results on an iPad. During his primary campaign, Braun said he did a fair amount of door knocking. “I plan to do more of that now that I’ve moved ahead from the primary,” he said. “People are looking for a change. My ability to sell my training and my experience seemed to attract people. But obviously, it’s going to be difficult to beat an incumbent,” Braun said. I think people are receptive to something new.” Braun said the biggest concern that people mentioned to him during his primary campaign was a lack of medical training involving Wright County deputies. “The department needs to be dedicated to this, and it’s going to be a labor expense.” According to Braun, Wright County will have to pay for deputies to re-train, because once training lapses, the training needs to start over from square one. “You need to have a minimum of first responder training to have your license activated. The Minnesota Peace Office Training Board does not require any medical training as part of its continuing education or maintaining your license once its activated.” Braun said moving forward to the general election, he’s going to intensive his face-to-face meetings with prospective voters. “Now I want to go out and make sure people know who I am, know where I stand and know what my vision is and what my expectations are,” he said. Braun also thanked primary voters for their support. “I was moderately impressed with the voter turnout,” Braun said. “I do hope that people would take a chance on me and give me an opportunity by contacting me and give me an opportunity to explain my training.”