By Dan Linehan
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — Commissioner Mark Piepho defeated Caroline Wood in Blue Earth County’s 3rd District, 62 percent to 37 percent.
Piepho had 3,201 votes to Wood’s 1,886.
There were few policy differences between the candidates, but they campaigned on different themes.
Piepho emphasized budgetary discipline; Wood said she ran to advocate for a wide range of issues, such as public health, veterans issues and domestic violence.
The 3rd District is comprised largely of the semi-rural area surrounding Mankato.
Piepho significantly outspent Wood. Between July 17 and Oct. 24, Piepho spent $2,872.49 while Wood spent $511.55 over that span.
Wood also may have lost votes due to her 2010 dispute with a neighbor. She shot his dog in an incident she characterized as self-defense, though the neighbor challenges that characterization.
Commissioners Will Purvis and Kip Bruender were expected to be re-elected, as they were running unopposed.