Crow Wing County sheriff's candidate Keith Emerson today dropped out of the race citing personal and job commitments that have arisen since his July 12 filing.
His name still will appear on the Sept. 10 primary ballot since the deadline to withdraw names was July 19. Incumbent Sheriff Dick Ross and his challenger, Deputy Eric Klang, also will be on the primary ballot.
Emerson, a former Brainerd police officer, is program coordinator for Deco Security Services of Onamia. He ran against Ross in an unsuccessful bid in 1998.
"The time just isn't going to be there to run that strong campaign," Emerson said. "It's been a tough decision for me. Law enforcement is in my blood."
Emerson said he would keep his options open regarding future sheriff elections.
In a news release, he said he had been looking forward to this race since he retired from the Brainerd Police Department in May 2001. He thanked his supporters for their efforts.
"There's still two candidates in the race," he said. "I'm not endorsing either one."
He said he wasn't sure whether he would make an endorsement later in the campaign.
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