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Olmsted County District 5 candidates

Three seek District 3 commissioner seat in Olmsted County

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Michelle Rossman, Mike Macken and Catherine Davis.
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ROCHESTER — Three candidates will be on the Aug. 9 primary ballot for the next Olmsted County commissioner in District 5.

Each candidate was sent a short questionnaire seeking background information and their reason for seeking the seat, which represents the western portion of the county, including part of Rochester.

Here’s what they provided:

Name: Michelle Rossman

Age: 48

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Occupation: Vice president of environmental stewardship for Dairy Management Inc. and farmer.

Education: Bachelor of science degree in animal science, Pennsylvania State University; and master's degree in meat science, Colorado State University.

Have you held elected office? No.

MIchelle Rossman
Michelle Rossman.
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Have you served on local government boards or commissions?

  • Olmsted County Extension Committee, 2019-2021.

Community involvement: 

  • New Haven Sodbusters 4-H Club key leader.
  • Byron FFA Alumni and Supporters, founding member and president.
  • Holy Spirit Catholic Church member.

What are your top three campaign issues:

  • Enhance rural and urban relationships.
  • Maintain and improve Olmsted County infrastructures.
  • Increase state funding for Olmsted County mandated services.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? I have always been interested in local government and being actively engaged in my local community. I enjoy using my skills to work with other people on projects that benefit society. My experience professionally in working with diverse stakeholders to align and work together toward a common goal will be beneficial in the role of county commissioner.

What will be your top goal if elected? District 5 is a unique area with many small businesses and farmers along with citizens living in rural areas as well as Rochester suburbs. I look forward to meeting many district residents in the coming months and engaging in meaningful conversation as I learn about the topics and issues that are important to them. My responsibility will be to represent them effectively and bring their voice into the discussions occurring within county government.

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Catherine Davis headshot.jpg
Catherine Davis

Name: Catherine Davis

Age: 53

Occupation: Training and development professional focusing on the areas of leadership, organizational effectiveness, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education; master of arts in organizational management and master of business administration.

Have you held elected office? No.

Have you served on local government boards or commissions? No.

Community involvement:

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  • PossAbilities of Southeast Minnesota, board and executive committee member.
  • Rochester Public Library Foundation events committee chairwoman.
  • Rochester Civic Theatre, volunteer.
  • Rochester Repertory Theatre, volunteer.
  • Leadership Greater Rochester Planning Committee, Education and Workforce Readiness Day.
  • Rochester Human Resource Association.
  • Church council member and music leader.
  • League of Women Voters.
  • Community Focus Team/Racial Equity Advisory Team (REAT), addressing racial disparities in Rochester Public Schools (past).
  • United Way Education Impact Team (past).
  • NAMI SE Minnesota board member (past).
  • Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Greater Rochester Advisory Committee (Past).
  • Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Women in Leadership Development (Past).
  • Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Diversity Committee (past).
  • Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee (past).
  • Leadership Greater Rochester alumni.
  • Co-facilitator Collaborative Leadership Fellows.

What are your top three campaign issues?

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  • Efficient and effective government.
  • Civic engagement.
  • Healthy communities.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? I have been actively involved in the community for over 20 years in various volunteer, professional and community groups. I am keenly aware of the issues affecting our county and have the experience and commitment to bring people together to analyze, identify and implement solutions to meet people’s needs.

What will be your top goal if elected? My goal is to build on the policies and direction set by prior county boards and reimagine how to deliver services that meet everyone's needs and ultimately enhance the quality of life for all. I will look at issues with a fresh perspective, be approachable and accessible, and elevate all voices.


Name: Mike Macken

Age: 60

Occupation: Plumbing contractor of Owner, Mike Macken Plmb, LLC; assistant softball coach at Rochester Lourdes and Rochester Community and Technical College.

Education: Lourdes High School; University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Have you held elected office? No.

Have you served on local government boards or commissions? No.

Community involvement:

  • Rochester Youth Fastpitch Softball Association.
  • Rochester Softball Association.

What are your top three campaign issues:

  • Mental health.
  • Affordable housing.
  • Listen and learn.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? I am a good listener and will look at all sides of any issue to come to a resolution. I am not afraid to make decisions.

What will be your top goal if elected?  Addressing and treating mental health will be a priority for me. Affording housing options need to be addressed as well.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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