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How Much Does a Winning Mayoral Campaign Cost in Burnsville?

Hint: More than a nice Swiss watch, less than a full year as a residential undergraduate at the University of Minnesota.

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Anyone thinking about challenging Mayor Elizabeth Kautz in 2016, take note: Better have enough money to fill a small armored car if you want to make a successful bid.

During the 2012 election cycle, the mayor garnered a whopping $20,000 in contributions in her successful quest for a seventh term, many from members of the business community, other elected officials on school board and at least one sitting city council member. Kautz drew in as much  or more than Burnsville candidates running for state offices: Incumbent Republican Sen. Dan Hall took in $21,371 cash, as of the last filing, and GOP Rep. Pam Myrha raised $18,237.04

It almost goes without saying that Kautz outgunned her opponent, longtime foe Jerry Willenburg. This time around, Kautz's war chest was almost seven times as large as Willenburg's.

Name Cash Contributions In-Kind Total *Elizabeth Kautz $20,960 $685 $21,645 Jerry Willenburg $3,111 $55 $3,166

*Denotes winning candidate

Kautz's campaign spending was also on par with Burnsville's legislators in St. Paul (Hall spent $14,845.16, Myhra spent $20,172.79).

Name Total Expenses Percentage of Vote Percentage of Total Population (2010 estimate) *Elizabeth Kautz $14,184 57.12 percent  27.5 percent (16600) Jerry Willenburg $4,250.99 42.6 percent 20.5 percent (12379)

Other council races were not quite as expensive, though they too involved substantial investments on the part of donors.

Name  Cash Contributions In-Kind  Total *Mary Sherry $6,235 $300 $6,535 *Suzanne Nguyen $400 $2,150 $2,550 Steve Cherney $500 0 $500 Bruce Johnson N/A N/A N/A

 

Name Expenses  Percentage of Vote Percentage of Total Population (2010 estimate) *Mary Sherry (Incumbent) $6,283.01 32.3 percent 22.6 percent (13606) *Suzanne Nguyen $2,530.15 23 percent 16.1 percent (9702) Steve Cherney $1,748.76 22.3 percent 15.6 percent (9396) Bruce Johnson N/A 21.9 percent 15.3 percent (9214)
Clare Kennedy January 29, 2013 at 09:01 AM
If you're wondering why we're doing this now, as opposed to November, I'll explain: In some cases, candidate transactions were still going on in December, the last month of filing. We chose to run this story in late January because this week is a rather dead one (no meetings). If you would like to suggest a follow up line of inquiry, please do. Clare.kennedy@patch.com.

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