Fletcher back as sheriff; Rettman’s out

McCollum and Choi cruise to victory

Voters weighed in Nov. 6 on county races as well as who will represent them in Congress, electing some familiar candidates, along with a newcomer.

 

Ramsey County Sheriff’s race

In a race that hasn’t been competitive since 2010, a familiar face will be returning as Ramsey County Sheriff. 

Bob Fletcher, who was unseated by Matt Bostrom in 2010 after serving as sheriff for 16 years, was elected to the position with nearly 53 percent of the vote.

Current Ramsey County Sheriff Jack Serier got about 47 percent of the vote. Serier was appointed to the position in 2017 after then-Sheriff Bostrom resigned to take a position at the University of Oxford. 

Fletcher did not return a request for comment.

 

Ramsey County Commissioner District 3

Newcomer Trista MatasCastillo won the race for Ramsey County Commissioner District 3 over incumbent Janice Rettman. 

District 3 covers Falcon Heights and a chunk of St. Paul.

MatasCastillo won some 63 percent of the vote to Rettman’s near 37 percent, unseating her after she’d represented the district since 1997.

Asked why she’d won, said MatasCastillo, “Because of hard work and [because] the community was just ready for change, and they’re ready for someone who’s going to be a champion for our community.”

She said that while she has her priorities and issues she wants to work on, she understands she’ll need to meet with her other colleagues and “get into that process.” 

MatasCastillo said her hope is to work on improving access to county services, making transit in the district more accessible and safer and “ensuring we have housing selection for people who live in our area.”

She also said she wants to address poverty by increasing economic development — bringing in businesses and good paying jobs. She added that she sees a number of underdeveloped sites, like the Kmart directly west of Interstate 35E in St. Paul, as places that could be developed for jobs and homes. 

Another issue she’d like to get to work on right away is addressing the issue of District 3 being a food dessert, with relatively few choices for grocery stores and healthy food. She said she’d like to find ways to invest county dollars to help with the issue, perhaps by supporting urban farms.

 

Incumbents leave few surprises

In the Ramsey County Attorney race, two-term incumbent John Choi ran away with 78 percent of the vote. His challenger, Luke Kyper Bellville, tallied 21 percent. Choi was first elected to the office in 2010 and in 2014 faced no opposition in his run for re-election.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum won her re-election bid for the 4th Congressional District with 66 percent of the vote. McCollum has served the district since 2001. This year she faced two challengers: Greg Ryan, a Republican, who got nearly 30 percent of the vote, and Susan Pendergast Sindt of the Legal Marijuana Now Party, who got 4 percent of the vote. 

 

–Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto.

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