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Cross to seek Beltrami County's top job

Wadena County's sheriff won't face an election contest this fall, but his chief deputy will.

When the filing period ended Tuesday, no one registered to run against incumbent Sheriff Michael D. Carr. However, Wadena County Chief Deputy Bill Cross has filed to run for sheriff in Beltrami County.

Cross sought the sheriff's job in 2006 when a wide open race between four contestants had Cross ultimately finishing second, behind eventual Sheriff Phil Hodapp.

Cross, who maintains his primary residence in Beltrami County but has another residence in Wadena County, will stay on the job here and use his nights, weekends and a little vacation time to run his campaign, he said.

Cross started as a water patrol deputy in 1971 in Beltrami County and spent most of his 30-plus-year law enforcement career there. After missing in his bid for sheriff of Beltrami County in 2006, he was lured by Carr to take the number two job in Wadena County.

"His vision of law enforcement was kind of similar to my vision," Cross said of the 2006 meeting.

Among those ideas, Cross said better electronic communications in the cars for deputies, better records systems and better access to records by citizens were chief concerns.

He said he really likes his job in Wadena County, but has some deep ties to Beltrami County as well.

"I was born and raised there," Cross said. "My family are lifelong residents."

Cross said law enforcement is much the same wherever it's practiced, and he takes pride in all of it.

"Law enforcement is a very rewarding career," he said. "There's a lot of heartache and drama that go with it, but it's still very rewarding."