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Sieben, Kriesel top campaign spenders in 2010

Incumbent Sen. Katie Sieben topped the list of local Legislative candidates in campaign spending this election season, according to the latest campaign finance disclosure reports filed with the state last week.

How Sieben fared at the polls wasn't clear when this edition of the Bulletin went to press Tuesday morning. But the DFL Senator from Cottage Grove came out ahead of her opponent, Republican Karin Housley, in both spending and fundraising.

Sieben, seeking a second term in the state Senate, spent just more than $50,000 on her re-election campaign, as of Oct. 25, and had raised $56,650. Roughly $27,000 of that came from individual donors, and the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board classified $2,800 as lobbyist contributions.

Housley wasn't left in the dust, however. The St. Mary's Point real estate agent, small business owner, radio host, author and wife of former professional hockey player Phil Housley raised more than $48,000; that figure includes $5,000 Housley loaned her campaign. The first-time candidate for public office spent $37,500 on her bid to unseat Sieben.

The big bucks weren't limited to District 57's senate seat -- Republican John Kriesel flexed some fundraising muscle in his race against Cottage Grove City Councilwoman Jen Peterson for the 57A state House seat, raising almost $47,000. The Minnesota National Guard combat veteran drew the attention of Republican political operatives around the country, collecting more than $12,000 in out-of-state donations. His campaign had spent nearly $43,000 as of Oct. 25.

Peterson's numbers were more modest. She spent $19,500, according to the latest report, and had raised $21,600 -- both figures more than $20,000 shy of her better-funded opponent.

In House District 57B, incumbent Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, raised $23,500 and spent more than $31,000 in his bid for a fifth-term. DFL candidate Dave Page, of Denmark Township, had raised just short of $12,000 as of last week, and spent only $4,200. Both McNamara and Page received public campaign funding; McNamara roughly $5,300 and Page more than $6,000.