The Potluck

Rep. Ryan Winkler announces run for Hennepin County Attorney

By: - October 5, 2021 9:35 am

Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley

DFL House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler will run for Hennepin County Attorney, announcing Tuesday he would not seek reelection to the House.

Winkler, who represents the Golden Valley area in the Minnesota House, joins former Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty in vying to succeed County Attorney Mike Freeman. Winkler said he would finish serving his current term in the House.

In a statement, Winkler said he would focus on bringing progressive leadership to the office, including prosecuting police officers who abuse their power. 

“People in Hennepin County are frustrated that their leaders have not delivered basic public safety needs for our communities,” he said. “I’m running for County Attorney because we need progressive leadership that will bring people together around a common vision for addressing public safety and racial justice.”

He added: “Police officers who abuse their power damage the legitimacy of law enforcement and make all of us less safe. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office should not sit on the sidelines while people are demanding that our leaders address the racial injustices in local police departments.”

Winkler’s decision to run for county attorney will touch off a leadership shuffle in the House. He has served seven non-consecutive terms in the House, leaving Minnesota briefly to live abroad.

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Ricardo Lopez
Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.