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)