Citizens Begin Recall Effort for Hennepin County Sheriff Hutchinson


Citizens have begun a recall effort for Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson following his refusal to resign over his recent DUI conviction. Details surrounding the petition are circulating online and it will need 132,451 signatures in order to succeed.

Several lawmakers and local politicians have called upon Hutchinson to resign but so far, he has refused.

According to the Recall Sheriff Hutchinson website, an official petition is being created in accordance with the Minnesota Constitution, and will need to be physically signed in the future. The online petition is gathering signatures to give an estimate of the numbers and a way for those who do sign to be contacted.

Hutchinson is up for reelection in 2022 and announced his campaign last week. Hutchinson was initially elected in 2018 and has had a 15 year career in law enforcement and public safety, according to his website.

Hutchinson is also Minnesota’s first openly gay sheriff, and his husband, Justin, serves the Bloomington Fire Department.

Hutchinson’s primary challenger in the 2022 election is Jai Hanson, a 14 year police veteran, who believes law enforcement is “about people not politics.”

The sheriff was sentenced to “90 days in jail and two years of probation as well as a $610 fine following Hutchinson’s DUI crash in Alexandria,” The Minnesota Sun reported. The crash occurred in December of 2021.

Many details remain cloudy about the incident with some claiming that an open bottle of bourbon was found in the wrecked squad car. Hutchinson’s blood alcohol count at the time of the crash was more than twice the legal limit.

Becky Strohmeier, one of the organizers of the effort, told The Sun that “recalling Sheriff Hutchinson is absolutely essential to protecting the integrity of the Office of the Sheriff in Hennepin County.”

Strohmeier said, “Our Sheriff has two very important jobs: to be non-partisan and to enforce the rule of law. Hutch has failed Hennepin County on both.” She argued that Hutchinson’s roll-over crash brought Minnesotans of all political backgrounds together, saying that his actions “brought anger and embarrassment to Minnesotans of every race and political party.”

Strohmeier believes that the comments Hutchinson made following the incident proceeded to worsen the situation. She said, “Sheriff Hutch’s comments saying, ‘At this point, everyone has [drove drunk]…’ discredits the tireless efforts of Law Enforcement and their partners to fight impaired driving on Minnesota roads, as well as normalizes a behavior that is not normal and completely unacceptable.”

She went on to say that it is a “non-partisan issue” and that she is asking those who live in Hennepin County and are concerned about Hutchinson’s behavior to sign the online recall petition.

Sheriff Hutchinson’s office was unable to be reached for comment by The Sun.

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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Dave Hutchinson” by Dave Hutchinson.

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One Thought to “Citizens Begin Recall Effort for Hennepin County Sheriff Hutchinson”

  1. Natalie

    Recalling Sheriff Hutchinson is the right thing to do. Our elected officials need to be held to a higher standard – that standard being to doing their job! I can appreciate his verbal apology and realization he needs help but that does not erase the fact that he chose to drive drunk, in the sheriff’s car with a gun. No one should be above the law, especially if the law is your job. Fortunately no lives were lost but this could have ended tragically. He needs to step down. If he is so arrogant that he will not, then he needs to be recalled. It tells us a lot about politics and our society if we the people, turn a blind eye and let this go unchecked.
    Sheriff Hutchinson, please resign, get the help you need, and then maybe consider running for office.