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St. Paul police chief retiring, assistant chief running for sheriff

St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington won’t seek a second term, so city officials will begin a search to find a replacement before he leaves at the end of June.

Harrington’s announcement Wednesday came just one day after Assistant Police Chief Matt Bostrom officially kicked off his campaign for the Ramsey County sheriff’s job. 

The timing of the two events made speculative minds — like mine — wonder: Does Bostrom wish he’d waited, and will be make a bid for the police chief job?

And might Harrington think about a run for sheriff? The city’s last police chief, William Finney, ran for sheriff in 2006, soon after he’d retired, then lost a nasty race to incumbent Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

The answer to all those questions is most likely no. Bostrom isn’t expected to seek the chief’s job, city insiders say. And Harrington serves as co-chair of the Bostrom for Sheriff Committee, so he’s not going to run for the job himself.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman Coleman says he’ll work with Harrington, the City Council and the community “in the coming weeks and months … to ensure an inclusive search and a smooth transition to a new leader for the St. Paul Police Department.”

And we’re still waiting word on whether Fletcher will seek re-election to a fifth term. That decision likely won’t come until the new year.

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