Jessica Peterson White, Ward 4 Candidate for Northfield City Council

Peterson White was appointed to fill the vacated position last fall and is hoping to be voter elected this fall.

Jessica Peterson White is running for Northfield City Council's Ward 4 seat.
Jessica Peterson White is running for Northfield City Council's Ward 4 seat.
Three candidates are vying for the Ward 4 seat on the Northfield City Council during this year's special election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Jessica Peterson White, who was appointed to the seat after Councilor Patrick Ganey resigned to accept a position at Middlebury College in Vermont, is hoping to get voter approval to finish the last year of Ganey's term. Rick Esse and Scott Oney are the other two candidates. 

Patch asked all candidates to fill out a questionnaire to aid voters in their decision this November. See what Peterson White had to say below:

Have you ever held an appointed or elected office before?

Yes – I served as Rice County Commissioner from 2004-06, and then as a Rice County Planning Commission member from 2006-09.

What relevant experience do you have?  

I’ve had many roles in Northfield, from student to downtown business owner to parent and volunteer. I’ve served as a Rice County Commissioner, helped other rural towns build strong futures in my role at U of M Extension, and I have a master’s degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. I’m absolutely passionate about Northfield, and feel that my leadership style, work experience and education make me a good representative for Ward 4 – I’m committed to long-term prosperity for our town.

What is your occupation?

I’m the 25th Reunion Officer at Carleton College

Where did you go to school? 

I have a BA from Carleton College, and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

How old are you?


Do you have a spouse, children or any other family members you’d like to tell voters about? 

I’m married to Nathan White, and we have a daughter, Astrid, who’s three years old.

What are your campaign goals?

I’ve been out knocking on doors and talking with constituents throughout the ward, and it’s reminded me of what works about local government, and why I am so grateful to be able to serve in this way. This campaign has been a great opportunity to hear from people on the issues that matter to them most – which are not always the issues we get the most excited about at council meetings. Talking to the voters has kept me focused on making our neighborhoods livable, walkable, and drivable; on sensible economic development and smart growth that fits Northfield; on ensuring our city services like the library and the fire department are strong; and on continuing to have an open, healthy dialogue about all these issues, both inside and outside city hall. I love working in local government because we can be creative and open-minded in our approach to the issues. I’m grateful to my constituents for sharing their thoughts and ideas, and I will work hard to stay connected and keep listening long after the campaign is wrapped up.

What issues are you most focused on?
  • Economic development that fits Northfield:

- Balanced, smart and forward-thinking

- Job growth

- Support for local businesses, big and small

- Stewardship of our unique culture

  • Open, transparent government
  • Commitment to environmental protection
  • Sustainable long-term planning that equips us to act wisely
  • Investment in infrastructure, so our economy can grow, and so everyone—in cars, on bikes, in strollers and wheelchairs—can get where they need to go safely and efficiently.

Why should voters choose you?

I want to continue to represent Ward 4 because I'm proud to be part of Northfield, a community that supports people at all stages of life, and invests in economic prosperity for the long term and for the common good. I'm proud to know that we put our key assets—the environment, our local businesses, and our unique culture—at the heart of our decision-making. I'm honored—and excited—to keep working hard to bring these values to the City Council. In my many roles in our community, I've learned the importance of collaborative leadership, of innovation, and of appreciating the wonderful range of lives being lived here. If elected, I’ll keep working hard to keep Northfield vital, unique, and moving forward. 

Candidate website: jessicapetersonwhite.com

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