Larsen and Rocheleau move on in Morrison County's sheriff's race
There were four candidates and now there are two in the running in the Morrison County sheriff race.
Shawn Larsen and Dan Rocheleau, who both currently work in the sheriff's office, were the top two vote-getters in the race, ousting Thomas Justin and Charles Strack, who also were running for sheriff.
Results in Tuesday's primary election were Larsen with 4,058 votes or 55.53 percent; Rocheleau with 1,526 votes or 20.88 percent; Justin with 972 votes or 13.30 percent; and Strack with 752 votes or 10.29 percent.
Rocheleau said he was feeling good Tuesday watching the results come in.
"A lot of time and effort went into this campaign," Rocheleau said. "We now have a lot of work ahead of us. I figured Shawn would have a lot of votes ... You don't know where the others who voted for Justin and Strack will go to in November's election. More people will come out to vote in November. We will have to wait and see."
Calls were made to Larsen, but weren't returned.
When Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel announced that he was not seeking a fourth term as sheriff, all four candidates expressed interest in the position.
Larsen has been with the Morrison County Sheriff's Office for 14-plus years. He is a patrol sergeant where he is in charge of the direct supervision of deputies. He also is the lead instructor for firearms and use of force and commander of the Critical Incident Response Team which consists of operators of the Little Falls Police Department and Morrison County Sheriff's Office. He also is a firearms instructor at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.
Rocheleau began working as a part-time police officer for the city of Pierz. Then, in 2002 he was hired by the Morrison County Sheriff's Office as a patrol deputy and has continued as a deputy for the past 12 years.
He said he's been the county's senior K-9 handler for the last nine years, using the K-9's for narcotic searches, school and civic teaching throughout Morrison County. He also is on the Pierz Fire Department and Pierz Area First Response Team.
Justin is a patrol lieutenant for the St. Cloud Police Department. He has been with the department since 1997. Justin has been a Royalton School Board member for eight years.
Strack is a Little Falls Police detective and Randall Police Chief. He began working part-time as a police officer in 1994 for Little Falls before being hired full time as a patrolman in 1998.