Steve Soyka will be Stearns County’s new sheriff.
Soyka, a Stearns County Sheriff’s Office sergeant, beat Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud.
Soyka won 56 percent of the vote. He collected 34,771 votes while Bentrud picked p 26,309 votes.
Soyka will replace Sheriff Don Gudmundson, who was appointed in May 2017 after John Sanner retired midway through his term.
The sheriff’s race contrasted “insider” candidate Soyka, who has spent his entire career as a Benton or Stearns county deputy, against “outsider” Bentrud who was a St. Cloud Police Department officer before taking over the Waite Park Police Department.
Soyka won by big margins in the Kimball, Rockville, Cold Spring and St. Joseph areas while Bentrud record the strongest showing in parts of St. Cloud as well as Waite Park and Sartell.