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Editorial: Scott has reasons to be unhappy

Mitch Scott is a disappointed man this week. And for good reason.

Last year, he announced he would seek the office of Dakota County Sheriff when Don Gudmundson's term came up at the end of 2010.

In September 2009, Gudmundson announced he would not seek re-election.

A week later, a second hat was thrown into the ring for Gudmundson's seat: Dave Bellows said he would run.

It appeared as though the field was set: Scott, an Apple Valley police sergeant, would face off against Bellows, the county's Chief Deputy.

Then, just two weeks ago, Gudmundson announced he would be leaving his seat 10 months earlier than planned. He announced he would retire at the end of February.

The logical selection to fill the spot was Bellows, who has acted as Gudmundson's right-hand man for 10 years. The chief deputy is second in command at the county.

But the fact that Bellows is running a campaign for sheriff and that he has at least one challenger really makes this a mess.

Regardless, the Dakota County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to name Bellows the interim sheriff. He will serve the final 10 months of Gudmundson's term.

In November, voters will decide if Bellows gets to keep the job, or if Scott should get it.

Scott is at a serious competitive disadvantage here, and the situation is unfair to him.

That said, we saw no other way out of the mess than the route taken by the county board. They had to fill the position of sheriff, and they chose a longtime employee of the county and the sheriff's second in command.

This November, voters will get to decide if Bellows can stay in the role, or if Scott should get his shot.