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Update: seven Cottage Grove City Council candidates in the race

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Newcomers are Evan Kolstoe, Dwayne Brauch, Chad Poitra, Jerret Wright and Jeff Mack. 2 / 3
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COTTAGE GROVE — With the filing period now closed, the number of candidates running for two Cottage Grove City Council seats has reached seven.

The filing period closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, and withdrawal period closes at 5 p.m. Aug. 16.

These candidates will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Dave Thiede

Dave ThiedeThiede has served two terms on the City Council and has filed for candidacy in hopes of a third.

He’s served as liaison to the Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation, and said preservation will be important to the community as the city continues to move forward with development.

There are also several projects he hopes to see through as a council member, including the community center, HERO (health and emergency response occupations) Center, and continued residential and business park construction.

Thiede said if re-elected he’ll continue trying to keep costs low and find creative ways to fund projects.

Steve Dennis

Steve DennisDennis, a local business owner of Dennis Brothers Liquor, has filed to try for a second term after first being elected in 2014.

Dennis, who announced his intention to run for re-election back in May, said he wants to continue working on his special interests: business and economic growth.

He currently serves on the Economic Development Authority, City Investment Committee and as the Planning Commission liaison.

Dennis touts the record residential and commercial permit valuation the city has reached in the past couple years, put said there’s still more work to come.

Evan Kolstoe

Evan KolstoeThough Evan Kolstoe, 35, and his wife have lived in Cottage Grove for only a few months, he’s excited to try run for office in his new home.

A quality manager at Ardent Mills in Hastings, Kolstoe has been thinking about getting involved in the political process for a long time, but felt it was the right time to get started after moving to Cottage Grove.

“It’s just about being a good citizen and being involved, wherever you are,” he said. “It’s just time to do my civic duty.”

Dwayne Brauch

Dwayne BrauchDwayne Brauch, 42, is a retired Marine and father of three who’s lived in Cottage Grove with his family for five years.

Brauch, who got his degree in criminal justice, wants to concentrate on school, neighborhood and public safety issues.

“I want to give back to the community,” he said.

Brauch said the last election he ran was for student council in college, but looks forward to the upcoming campaign.

Chad Poitra

Chad PoitraChad Poitra, 41, has lived in Cottage Grove with his wife and two children for about 15 years, where he’s been active with his kids and their sports in South Washington County Schools.

He works for the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, working with underrepresented communities and new Americans and on business development and economic development.

‘“I’ve always had a passion to make things work for everyone,” he said, especially when it comes to engaging with kids and watching how policies affect youth and elder populations.

Poitra said he’s always had an interest in government and politics, and said that as a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and he’s “always been engaged in policy and how it affects our community.”

Jerret Wright

Jerret WrightA former Marine and Inver Grove Heights firefighter, Jerret Wright, 36, moved back to Cottage Grove a few years ago with his family.

Still in the military, he now works as a platoon leader, drilling with the National Guard.

Wright said he wants to ramp up his involvement in the community and bring new energy and ideas to the City Council.

“I’ve seen improvements, but (things) could be better,” Wright said. “I want to put Cottage Grove on the map.”

If elected, he said he would like to focus on the city budget and spending.

“I’m big on tax money responsibility,” he said. “I think it’s an inherent part of being on the City Council.”

Jeff Mack

Jeff MackJeff Mack, 56, recently added his name to the race on Aug. 10.

A 15-year-Cottage Grove resident, Mack is an Army veteran who has worked for Delta Airlines doing IT for the last 30 years.

“I decided to participate, and shape the community and address people's concerns,” he said.

He especially wants to concentrate on keeping Cottage Grove business-friendly so they will want to stay in the community.

“I’ve seen us grow in leaps and bounds,” he said. “It’s going great here, so I might as well be part of the solution.”