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Cottage Grove, Grey Cloud incumbents retain seats

COTTAGE GROVE — Incumbents Steve Dennis and Dave Thiede each won handily in a six-way race for two Cottage Grove City Council seats.

With over 90 percent of total votes tallied in the non-partisan contest, Dennis had 7,821 votes, Thiede had 7,291 votes.

The nearest challenger, Jerret Wright, garnered 2,321. Chad Poitra and Dwayne D. Brauch received 1,872 and 1,827 votes, respectively.

The fourth challenger, Evan Kolstoe, received 1,477 votes.

Thiede has served two terms on City Council, and had 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.

Dennis, a local business owner of Dennis Brothers Liquor, was first elected to City Council in 2014. He said he was tired but elated at his victory.

"As you can imagine, when you go through a process like we do in this particular situation, it come as a great relief to know that we can continue to do the people's work," Dennis said. "I care very much about our community. I'm very deeply invested in all of our success. I'm very grateful and at the same time very humbled that the people spoke and really gave a positive reinforcement that they approve of the direction we've gone in."

During his campaign, Dennis touted his role in helping to attract what he said was $458 million in economic development to the city, including the opening of Hy-Vee and TJ Maxx.

"By virtue of filling the empty space and bringing here things people really enjoy, that enhances community pride. People feel better living here in Cottage Grove. This is very rewarding for myself," Dennis said.

There will be no celebrating for Dennis this evening, however.

"I've got to get up early in the morning and pick up 300 signs," he said.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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