Campaign finance reports show fundraising doesn’t assure success in Fargo-Moorhead races – InForum

FARGO — Tuesday’s general election showed that sometimes candidates who raise the most money win the race, and sometimes they don’t.

That was evident in Cass County, where incumbent Sheriff Jesse Jahner far outpaced his challenger, Mathew King, a deputy in the department, in the fundraising department and the ballot box, with Jahner garnering 80% of the vote to King’s 20%.

In the race for the Cass County state’s attorney job, however, Kimberlee Hegvik defeated fellow assistant Cass County state’s attorney Ryan Younggren in Tuesday’s vote, even though Younggren gathered more campaign dollars than Hegvik by a margin of nearly 2-1.

Kim Hegvik.jpg

Kim Hegvik.

Rialee Photography

Hegvik will take over the state’s attorney job from Birch Burdick, who did not run for re-election.

Campaign disclosure statements filed with the Cass County Finance Office in early October show Younggren had received $32,735 worth of individual contributions greater than $200 and $8,993 worth of contributions of $200 or less, for a total of roughly $42,000

Statements showed that Hegvik received $17,854 worth of donations of greater than $200 and $5,834 in donations of $200 or less, for a total of around $24,000.

Campaign finance disclosure statements filed in early 2022 showed that at that time Hegvik had received campaign donations from at least 11 other attorneys, including a number of defense attorneys.

Ryan Younggren

Ryan Younggren

Ryan Younggren

At that time, donations from attorneys ranged from $250 to $1,000.

Campaign finance statements filed earlier this year show Younggren’s donors included Gary Euren, a former assistant Cass County state’s attorney, and Renata Selzer, a current assistant Cass County state’s attorney.

In the Cass County sheriff’s race, Jahner received $9,550 in individual contributions of more than $200 and $6,959 in contributions of $200 or less, for a total of about $16,500, according to recent campaign disclosure statements.

King received one $2,500 donation and $50 worth of donations of $200 or less, the statements showed.

In Moorhead, residents were asked in Tuesday’s election to decide whether or not the city should set up a half-cent sales tax that would be used to pay for a new $31 million regional library and community center, a project that is to be part of redeveloping the Moorhead Center Mall area.

A campaign group organized to support the sales tax effort had raised about $1,755 as of late July, according to a campaign financial report filed with the city on Aug. 10.

As of that time, the group had not spent any of the contributions it had received, according to the campaign finance report submitted.

Under Minnesota law, groups that raise money for such ballot measures are required to file a pre-general election report no later than 10 days prior to the election.

The pre-general election report is required to contain updated information regarding donations obtained after the original finance report was filed and up to 15 days prior to the general election.

The original campaign finance report involving the Moorhead ballot measure was filed by former Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams, who suffered a stroke late last summer.

Attempts to reach Williams for comment were not successful.

In West Fargo, voters on Tuesday approved a half-cent sales tax that will go to support the city’s police and fire services by increasing the city portion of sales tax from 2% to 2.5%.

The measure could

generate up to $2.4 million in 2023

.

West Fargo officials said based on their reading of state law, backers of local ballot measures are not required to file campaign finance reports.

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