Mike Freeman was re-elected as Hennepin County attorney, besting his DFL-endorsed challenger, Mark Haase. It was the first time in 12 years that he’s had a challenger. He was coming off what he says have been the most difficult years as county attorney, partly because of his charging decisions regarding fatal shootings by police officers.

“I think I’ll be a better county attorney for having run again,” Freeman, 70, said Tuesday night.

“People want a county attorney who can make the tough decisions, but I need to be very diligent in trying to explain why I made them, and to share the facts that I based the decision on,” he said. “People want that transparency.”

Both candidates were focused on similar issues, including reducing the number of low-level marijuana convictions and improving investigations of sex crimes.

Haase’s campaign had garnered nationwide attention and tapped into a fervor for criminal justice reform.

“The campaign is over but the movement is not,” Haase said.