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Council candidates spent nearly $15,000 on local campaigning

City council election campaigns aren’t typically rife with political spending. However, that doesn’t mean that local candidates aren’t investing in their campaigns.

According to records submitted to the city of Hastings, six of the city’s eight council candidates this year spent a combined total of $14,695. Campaign finance reports for the remaining two candidates are currently not available.

Minnesota state law requires candidates who receive or spend more than $750 in a calendar year to file a financial report. The law, (211A.02) states that local candidates must file an initial report within 14 days of reaching the $750 threshold, and continue to make reports until the final report is filed. Reports must be filed by Jan. 31.

Campaign finance reports are posted publicly on the city’s website,, on the Elections page.

As of this week, Joe Balsanek, Tina Folch, Trevor Lund, Tony Nelson, Danna Elling Schultz and Lisa Leifeld have all submitted at least one report. Of those, Balsanek  spent the most, with disbursements totalling nearly $3,467. Not far behind was Lund, who has so far reported $3,239 in disbursements, and Leifeld, who so far has reported spending just shy of $3,194 on her council campaign. All three candidates earned council seats in the Nov. 8 election.

Falling just below the $3,000 mark was Elling Schultz, with $2,744. Rounding out the campaign reports so far are Folch, with $1,379, and Nelson, with $928.

Generally, the highest expense for local campaigns was in printing costs and yard signs.