Scott County Sheriff Luke Hennen has been elected to the post he was appointed to two years ago.

Hennen, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1997, defeated Shakopee Police Officer and Southwest Metro Drug Task Force Commander Jason Arras in a tightly contested race.

Hennen took home 50.63 percent of the vote to Arras’ 48.97 percent. He won by less than 1,000 votes; 29,698 votes to 28,726, according to unofficial results.

“When I announced my candidacy, I wanted to seek the public’s endorsement with the intentions to work together to create a safe and healthy community,” Hennen said Tuesday night. “Today’s election results show the people of Scott County support this mission.”

It is the first election win for Hennen, who was appointed sheriff by the Scott County Board of Commissioners after Sheriff Kevin Studnicka retired in 2016.

Running for sheriff of his home county has always been a dream of his, Hennen said, and he was happy to have the chance to seek the voters’ approval in 2018.

“Really I’m just proud of the positive campaign that focused on the needs or our community and highlighted the important work of our amazing department,” he said.

As sheriff, he has advocated for more mental health resources in the county to divert people from the criminal justice system. He ran on expanding those services, combating opioid abuse and expanding coordination with other law enforcement agencies in the county.

“A lot of work you do takes time,” Hennen said. “In the last two years I’ve been able to get a lot done, but a lot of the vision I have we’ll be able to get to with more years to get those projects done.”

Hennen said the race presented an opportunity to explain the role of the sheriff’s office throughout the county. He said he enjoyed the campaigning process and learned more about the community and what the community wants from the sheriff’s office.

Hennen is the 19th sheriff in Scott County history. He previously served as a corrections officer, patrol deputy, sergeant and chief deputy before taking charge of the department.

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