A 20-year law enforcement veteran with the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office will campaign for the agency's top seat.

Cpl. Chris Hutton announced his bid for sheriff Friday. He's running for Sheriff Bob Rost's seat, who said he will not seek another term as sheriff so he can run for a spot on the Grand Forks County Commission in 2018.

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"I intend to not only be the advocate for the staff and deputies in the Sheriff's Office but also for the people of Grand Forks County," Hutton said in a statement.

A Grand Forks County native, Hutton graduated from Thompson High School and lived there with his wife, Kelley, before moving closer to Grand Forks a few years ago.

His goals include increasing patrols, engaging officers in the community, increasing communication and morale within the Sheriff's Office, and expanding communication with other agencies and with the public. He told the Herald he wants to encourage officers to get more out into the community and make personal contacts with locals, especially children.

"Kids come first," he said. "They are our future."

He said residents are more apt to cooperate with investigators if officers build a personal bond with residents, including surrounding communities. He also wants to make sure standards and expectations are understood by all officers and "things are evenly attainable throughout the office."

In the sheriff's race, Hutton joins two of his co-workers: Lt. B.J. Maxson and Sgt. Andy Schneider. Grand Forks Police Department Detective Darin Johnson and Deputy Chief Jim Remer also announced their bids. UND Police Lt. Danny Weigel, who is a Grand Forks City Council member, and former Sheriff's Deputy Mike Lee also are in the race.

Candidates cannot officially register with the auditor's office until Jan. 2. The deadline to file as a candidate via petition or party endorsement is April 9. A primary election will be held June 18 before the official election Nov. 6.

Rost earns a annual salary of $114,546.