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Cottage Grove city incumbents are top campaign spenders

Jen Peterson was the top vote-getter in the Cottage Grove City Council race last fall, and she had another campaign distinction: Peterson raised and spent more money than all other candidates in the city's races.

In her successful bid for a second term, Peterson collected nearly $5,000 in donations and spent nearly as much, according to her final campaign finance filing. She and the other two council incumbents who were re-elected -- Justin Olsen and Mayor Myron Bailey -- had the three largest campaign accounts.

From July until after the Nov. 6 election, Peterson reported receiving roughly $4,973 in donations, and she spent $4,723.

Bailey raised about $3,280 in total donations and spent $3,517 from August through the end oof November on his campaign for a second four-year term, according to his filing.

Olsen, who with Peterson faced four council challengers, reported collecting $2,860 in campaign donations and spending a total of about $2,760.

Peterson, Bailey and Olsen received donations of various amounts up to $300 from individuals and labor unions.

Peterson said she needed to raise a "fairly good amount of money" to reach a lot of people.

"I needed to clear up the misinformation that had been put out there over the past year about many of the actions of the council," she said.

Candidates for mayor or city council are required to file finance reports if they raise or spend at least $700 on their campaign, but none of the four council challengers reported reaching that threshold and only one of Bailey's challengers needed to file.

Mayoral candidate Chad Rediske reported receiving $765 in donations and spending $1,535 on his bid to unseat Bailey. Rediske came in a distant second to Bailey in the election.

The Cottage Grove mayor is paid $9,216 annually while council members earn $6,780.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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