Meet Kari

About Me

I was taught the value of hard work at a young age. As the youngest of four children raised in a middle class family in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, not only did I help out around the house, I also contributed to our family business, The House of Decorating. By age twelve, I started my own paper route, and at sixteen I was bussing tables at Old Country Buffet. I paid my rent through college with my wages as a server.

I first moved to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in education. I came to love everything about this state: from the bustling cultural and arts venues and delicious restaurants, to the vast array of parks and public lands. I had found my home.  

Thankfully, my high school sweetheart and future husband, Dan, felt the same. We bought our first (and current!) home in Coon Rapids over twenty years ago and couldn’t imagine a better place to be.

Dan is a pharmacy program manager who greatly appreciates the value Minnesotans place on healthcare. Our youngest daughter, Hailey, attends Blaine High School where she benefits from the high quality of education in Minnesota including a wide ranges of experiences from debate and speech to soccer and music.  Our oldest daughter, Hannah, is studying public health at the University of Minnesota- go Gophers! We love it here and we feel both connected with and dedicated to our larger community.

Why I am running

The presidential election of 2016 changed my life.  As a woman and science teacher dedicated to education, helping others, and environmentalism, I was demoralized by the direction of the new President.  

In such a divisive political arena, I wanted to bring compassion back.  I wanted to center us back on a collective humanity.  To me, the role of a public servant is to better the lives of all of their constituents, and to truly care about the people they serve. 

I had a heart-to-heart with my husband and I will never forget what he said to me.  “If you want to make a bigger difference, first you need to grow your circle of influence.” I knew it was time to take a leadership role so I ran for Coon Rapids City Council.  Now, I want to grow my circle of influence once again and fight for you at the Capitol and for our next generation.

During my 20-year teaching career, I’ve worked with thousands of families. My current position with Education Minnesota requires vision and problem-solving. These qualities will help me as a State Representative. I am honest, truly care about people, and enjoy learning from and working with others. I believe it takes all of us at every level of government to further our democracy and that is why I am running for the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Let’s work together to build a better community for all!


  • Coon Rapids City Council
    • Council Member, November 2020-present
    • Funded Coon Rapids Police Department
    • Began construction on a new Fire Station
    • Advanced the Coon Rapids Energy Action Plan
  • DFL Senate District 37
    • Fundraising Chair, 2018-2020
    • Communications Chair, 2017-2019
  • Education Minnesota
    • Field Staff, March 2020 – present
  • Biology Teacher
    • Jackson Middle School, Aug 2019-Mar 2020
    • St. Francis Middle School, Aug 2012-Jul 2019
  • University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
    • Master of Education | 2001
    • Bachelor of Science in Biology | 1998