Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek denounced Barack ObamaâÄôs unwillingness to speak about his relationship with William Ayers , who Stanek referred to as a âÄúnon-repentant terroristâÄù at a St. Paul press conference Monday. Stanek, the Minnesota McCainâÄìPalin co-chair, told the handful of reporters in attendance he is troubled by ObamaâÄôs association with Ayers, a current education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and 1997 Chicago Citizen of the Year, who was involved in bombings protesting the Vietnam War in the 1970s. Ayers, Stanek argued, never renounced his actions as founder of the Weather Underground and as a confessed bomber. âÄúAs a law enforcement officer of 23 years plus, IâÄôm troubled by Barack ObamaâÄôs association with an unrepentant domestic terrorist with the record of terrorizing judges and police,âÄù Stanek said. Then Stanek turned tables and talked about ObamaâÄôs endorsement of ACORN , a campaign organization that recently registered hundreds of fraudulent voters, abandoning the Ayers concern. This type of political statement isnâÄôt common for sheriffs âÄî rather mayors usually give this type of endorsement âÄî Morris campus political science professor and elections expert Paula OâÄôLoughlin said. OâÄôLoughlin said this unusual endorsement âÄútestifies to the tightness of the race.âÄù She added that candidates and their proxies are visiting Minnesota, which along with Wisconsin, is a highly contested battleground state. âÄúAnd anybody who might be able to pull voters one way or the other is being mobilized,âÄù OâÄôLoughlin said.