ST. PAUL — Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler on Tuesday, Oct. 5, launched a bid for Hennepin County attorney and said he would not pursue re-election to his state House seat.

Winkler, a Golden Valley Democrat, in a news release said he was pursuing the office in hopes of improving police accountability and decreasing violent crime in the region. During his tenure in the state Legislature, Winkler has pushed for legalizing marijuana for recreational use and expunging minor marijuana offenses. He's also backed efforts to rewrite the state's laws around policing.

“People in Hennepin County are frustrated that their leaders have not delivered basic public safety needs for our communities,” Winkler 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.”

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman last month announced that he would not pursue re-election in 2022. And former Hennepin County Public Defender Mary Moriarty last week launched a bid for the county attorney position.

Voters will weigh in on who should take over the seat in November 2022.

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Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson, call 651-290-0707 or email