It's hard enough to run against a three-term incumbent.
But it's another story entirely when that incumbent is your boss.
In a stunning upset, Crow Wing County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Klang beat Crow Wing County Sheriff Dick Ross by a 14,679 to 11,358 margin in the sheriff's race during Tuesday's election.
Klang, 36, a 12-year veteran of the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department, said early this morning that he has a deep respect for Ross. Klang said he believed it was time for a change in the sheriff's department, which is why he decided to run against Ross, who has served 42 years in law enforcement, including three terms as Crow Wing County sheriff.
"I feel very humbled that the people have spoken and now it's up to me to follow through and lead the department," said Klang. "I obviously do like him (Ross) as my boss and I like him as a person. He's given 42 years of service to the community and we need to thank him for his service. I have the utmost respect for him and I always will."
Ross said today he was stunned at Tuesday's election results. He said he called Klang around 5:30 a.m. today to congratulate him.
"I'm disappointed, but life goes on. I know the difference between winning and losing, I've been in both places," said Ross, adding he has no plans for the future other than to spend time with his family.
Klang and his wife, Annette, hosted a gathering of about 50 family and friends at their home north of Brainerd Tuesday night as they watched the election results come in.
"We've worked hard. We've hit a lot of doors," said Klang. "The response was overwhelming. I couldn't believe it. I didn't think campaigning was going to be me. But I just loved it because the people kept encouraging me to keep going."
Klang said there will be several management changes within his department after he takes office in January. He said some members of the department plan to retire by the end of the year and he plans to announce soon who he will appoint as his chief deputy.
"I have somebody in mind but I'm going to wait on that and sit back and rest a little while," said Klang.
The Klangs have three sons, Jake, 11; Jonathan, 7; and Josiah, almost 2.
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