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Holien elected sheriff of Kandiyohi County

WILLMAR — Eric Holien won election Tuesday to become Kandiyohi County's next sheriff, outpolling opponent Greg Stehn in one of the season's most contentious local races.

According to unofficial totals, Holien captured 9,465 votes, or 52.3 percent of the total, while Stehn had 8,535 votes.

The race pitted Holien, a former Kandiyohi County deputy now with the Meeker County Sheriff's Office and Lower Sioux Tribal Police, against Stehn, current chief deputy of the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office.

The candidates offered very different visions for the future of the Sheriff's Office.

Holien urged a shakeup of the department, alleging a hostile work environment, low morale and ongoing issues with the safety and well-being of jail employees.

Meanwhile, Stehn campaigned on his experience, which includes serving as jail administrator and administrator of the dispatch center.

Holien will succeed Sheriff Dan Hartog, who is retiring after 16 years in office.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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