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'It's beyond incredible' Scott Goddard wins Crow Wing County sheriff race

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Crow Wing County Sheriff's candidate Scott Goddard talks to his supporters on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Billy's at Breezy Point. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch3 / 6
Crow Wing County Sheriff's candidate Scott Goddard, next to son Paxton, daughter Jordan and wife Carla, thanks his supporters on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Billy's at Breezy Point. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch4 / 6
Scott Goddard5 / 6
Pat Pickar6 / 6

Scott Goddard will be the next Crow Wing County Sheriff.

Goddard outlasted Pat Pickar in Tuesday's Nov. 6 general election by more than 2,500 votes, or close to 9 percent lead.

Pickar and Goddard both campaigned hard—knocking on countless doors in the county—since they announced their candidacy for sheriff. This was the first time the two men have run for elected office. They made their announcements after current Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl announced his retirement. Dahl's last day in office will be Dec. 31.

According to unofficial results from the Minnesota Secretary of State, with 64 of 64 precincts reporting, the votes were:

• Goddard, a captain with the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, received 16,477, or 54.17 percent, of the votes;

• Pickar, a Crow Wing County sheriff's deputy, received 13,818, or 45.45 percent, of the votes;

• There were 121 write ins.

"It's beyond incredible," Goddard, 47, said of winning the election. "We had a great night and it was fun to watch the numbers come in and consistently be on the top of the curve throughout the night.

"It's been a long journey. We remained positive through this whole thing and it's incredible and humbling to see the the outcome be in our favor. I'm absolutely honored and proud to be the next Crow Wing County Sheriff."

Pickar said running for sheriff has been a "fun run and a great journey."

"It doesn't define me as a person," Pickar said of the election results. "I am going to continue to do what I do. We have a great community here and I'm proud to serve as a deputy or as a sheriff. I have a job to do to represent our sheriff's office and represent Crow Wing County."

When asked if he would run for sheriff again, Pickar said he has to take some time to think about it, but it's "definitely in the cards and we'll see what the future holds."

Pickar is proud of his campaign team, who worked hard, and said he wouldn't change a thing.

"I wish Scott the best," Pickar said. "I hope he has opportunity for us to maybe sit down and go over some of the visions I have to help the sheriff's office move forward."

Both candidates spent the night with family, friends and supporters watching the results come in. Goddard was at Billy's Bar and Grill in Breezy Point and Pickar was at his Baxter home.

Sheriff candidates background

Goddard grew up in the Pequot Lakes/Jenkins Township area, graduating in 1988 from Pequot Lakes High School. He earned his law enforcement certificate in 1993 from the then Brainerd Community College, now Central Lakes College. His first law enforcement post was as an officer with the Breezy Point Police Department and he also was a part-time officer with the Pequot Lakes Police Department. Goddard went to take a position with the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, but went back to Breezy Point, and then decided to go back to the sheriff's office.

Goddard was promoted from patrol deputy to patrol sergeant and assigned to the Boat and Water Division in 2007. He then was promoted to lieutenant in 2013 and to captain in 2017. Goddard was responsible for overseeing the boat and water division, dive team, patrol, 911 dispatch, court security, transport and civil process of the sheriff's office; and currently he oversees the patrol functions, investigations, dispatch and volunteer-related divisions and personnel.

Goddard filled a variety of roles over his law enforcement career, including being a field training officer, a background investigator, firearms instructor, departmental armorer, Force on Force instructor; served as an operator, assistant team leader and co-commander of the tactical team; and the ALICE—Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate—trainer.

Goddard and his wife Carla have two children, Jordan and Paxton, who attend the Pequot Lakes School District.

Pickar, 42, grew up in Fort Ripley and has been with the sheriff's office for more than 20 years, serving numerous capacities. Pickar spent seven years with the Crosby Police Department. He currently works part-time as a police officer for the Pequot Lakes Police Department and is deputy chief for the Cuyuna Police Department.

Pickar began working with the sheriff's office in 1996 as an intern. He worked as a corrections officer in the Crow Wing County Jail, worked as a deputy in the boat and water division and was a 911 dispatcher. Pickar also was a school resource officer for the Pequot Lakes and Crosby school districts and served as the contract deputy for Emily.

Pickar spent four years as an operator and sniper on the Tactical Response Team and was promoted to investigator in 2004-06, working as a narcotics agent, assigned to the Lakes Area Drug Investigative Division.

Pickar was assigned to the K-9 Unit for 12 years and owns CanAm Tactical K9 LLC.

Pickar earned his associates of applied science degree in law enforcement in 1996 at Alexandria Technical College. Pickar completed the police management and supervision training through the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in 2006. Then in 2016, he completed the Chief of Police Associations' courses in officer leadership and development; and attended the Leadership Academy at Camp Ripley.

Pickar and his wife Angie have two daughters Chayse and Iyana, who are students in the Brainerd School District.

For more photos from election night with Scott Goddard go to https://bit.ly/2JL3LFT.