Karin Housley

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Karin Housley
Minnesota State Senator Karin Housley.jpg
Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 39th district
Assumed office
January 8, 2013
Preceded byConstituency established
Personal details
Karin Locke

(1964-01-20) January 20, 1964 (age 58)
South St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
(m. 1985)
EducationAugsburg University
State University of New York, Buffalo (BA)

Karin Housley (née Locke; born January 20, 1964) is a Minnesota politician, businesswoman, and member of the Minnesota Senate. A Republican, she represents Forest Lake, Stillwater, and the surrounding St. Croix Valley. Housley ran unsuccessfully as the Republican nominee in Minnesota's 2018 special election for the United States Senate.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Housley was born and raised in South St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated from South St. Paul High School in 1982 and briefly attended Augsburg College before moving to Buffalo, New York after her high school sweetheart, Phil Housley, was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres.[1] She enrolled at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she graduated in 1987 with a B.A. in communication studies.[2] After earning her degree, Housley worked as a news producer for WGRZ and WKBW in Buffalo until 1991.[3]

Minnesota Senate[edit]

Housley has represented Forest Lake, Stillwater, and communities along the St. Croix Valley in the Minnesota Senate since 2013. As a state senator, Housley is best known for her work on issues related to aging and long-term care and veterans.[4] Housley was instrumental in the creation of a first-ever Minnesota Senate committee on aging, which she currently chairs.[5][6] In 2019, Housley was the author of "landmark" legislation that provided enhanced protections for elderly and vulnerable adults in senior care facilities and licensed assisted living facilities in Minnesota for the first time.[7][8]

Housley was selected by her colleagues to serve as an assistant majority leader in both the 91st and 92nd sessions of the Minnesota Legislature.[9][10]

Housley speaking at Minnesota's 8th Congressional District nomination convention in Park Rapids in 2018

Political campaigns[edit]

In 2010, her first run for public office, Housley was narrowly defeated by DFL incumbent Katie Sieben for election to the Minnesota Senate.[11] After redistricting placed Housley's residence in a new district, she was elected to that seat in 2012, defeating her opponent by one percent.[12] She was re-elected in 2016, defeating her opponent by more than 20 percent.[13][14] In 2020, Housley was re-elected to a third term.[15]

In 2014, Housley was selected by Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour, a businessman from Orono, to be his candidate for lieutenant governor of Minnesota.[16] The pair was defeated in the 2014 Republican primary.[17]

In December 2017, Housley announced she intended to seek the Republican nomination in the 2018 special election for United States Senate. The seat was vacated by Al Franken, who resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct.[14] Tina Smith, then the lieutenant governor, was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to fill Franken's vacancy, and announced she intended to seek election to the seat.[18] Housley won the Republican primary and was defeated by Smith, the Democratic incumbent, in the general election.[19][20] Housley was criticized during the campaign for a Facebook post she posted in 2009 which compared then-First Lady Michelle Obama to a chimpanzee.[21]

In March 2019, Housley registered a political action committee to assist conservative candidates running for office in Minnesota, fueling speculation that she would run for the same U.S. Senate seat again in 2020.[22] She ultimately decided against it, instead announcing she would run for re-election to the Minnesota Senate.[23]

Personal life[edit]

After living in Buffalo, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Calgary, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Toronto, and Phoenix during Phil's National Hockey League career, the Housleys moved back to Minnesota in 2003.[24] Karin and Phil have four children, each of them graduates of Stillwater Area High School, and two grandchildren.[25] They reside in St. Marys Point.[26] Housley owns a real estate business in Stillwater.[27]

Electoral history[edit]

2010 Election for Minnesota's 57th Senate District[28]
 Democratic (DFL)Katie Sieben15,81250.94%−14.03%
 RepublicanKarin Housley15,20648.98%+14.03%
 Democratic (DFL) hold
2012 Election for Minnesota's 39th Senate District[29]
 Democratic (DFL)Julie Bunn22,75449.25%
 RepublicanKarin Housley23,38550.62%
 Republican gain from Democratic (DFL)
2016 Election for Minnesota's 39th Senate District[30]
 Democratic (DFL)Sten Hakanson18,23738.60%−10.65%
 RepublicanKarin Housley28,96061.29%+10.67%
 Republican hold
2018 Special election for United States Senate in Minnesota[31]
 Democratic (DFL)Tina Smith1,370,54052.97%
 RepublicanKarin Housley1,095,77742.35%
 Legal Marijuana NowSarah Wellington95,6143.70%
 IndependentJerry Trooien24,3240.94%
 Democratic (DFL) hold
2020 Election for Minnesota's 39th Senate District[32]
 Democratic (DFL)Josiah Hill25,91846.95%+8.35%
 RepublicanKarin Housley29,24152.97%−8.32%
 Republican hold
2014 Republican primary election for governor and lieutenant governor in Minnesota[33]
 RepublicanMarty Seifert and Pam Myhra38,85121.10%
 RepublicanKurt Zellers and Dean Simpson44,04623.92%
 RepublicanMerrill Anderson and Mark Anderson7,0003.80%
 RepublicanJeff Johnson and Bill Kuisle55,83630.33%
 RepublicanScott Honour and Karin Housley38,37720.84%
2018 Republican special primary election for United States Senate in Minnesota[34]
 RepublicanKarin Housley186,38461.95%
 RepublicanBob Anderson107,10235.60%
 RepublicanNikolay Nikolayevich Bey7,3552.45%


  1. ^ "The thoroughly modern marriage of Phil and Karin Housley". The Buffalo News. 2017-11-23. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  2. ^ Van Berkel, Jessie. "In tight race for U.S. Senate, Karin Housley sticks to convictions". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2019-07-21.
  3. ^ "About Karin". Karin Housley 24/7. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  4. ^ "Our View / Endorsement: Helping the elderly inspired Housley". Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  5. ^ "The thoroughly modern marriage of Phil and Karin Housley". The Buffalo News. 2017-11-23. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  6. ^ Lebens, Alicia. "Housley campaigns for U.S. Senate". hometownsource.com. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  7. ^ Serres, Chris (2019-05-26). "A landmark new law aims to protect Minnesota's elderly, but who writes the rules?". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  8. ^ Nelson, Tim (2019-05-20). "Elder care reform package on way to governor's desk". MPR News. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  9. ^ "Hortman, Gazelka are chosen as Minnesota legislative leaders". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  10. ^ "Senate Republicans Announce Leadership Team". Minnesota Senate Republicans. 2020-11-06. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  11. ^ Lightbourn, Jane (November 3, 2010). "Sieben wins in very close race". Hastings Star Gazette. Hastings, Minnesota. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  12. ^ Goodrich, Kristine (November 14, 2012). "Election: Many leaders return, several ousted". White Bear Press. White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  13. ^ Lebens, Alicia (November 12, 2016). "Incumbents retain seats in state Legislature". Stillwater Gazette. Stillwater, Minnesota. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  14. ^ a b "Washington County Republican Karin Housley wants Al Franken's Senate seat". St. Paul Pioneer Press. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  15. ^ Hiti, Joe. "Housley set for another term as State Senator in District 39". hometownsource.com. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  16. ^ Salisbury, Bill (2014-05-30). "Scott Honour picks first-term lawmaker Karin Housley as running mate". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  17. ^ Stassen-Berger, Rachel E.; Howatt, Glenn (September 5, 2014). "Success around state propelled Jeff Johnson to GOP primary win". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  18. ^ Orrick, Dave (2017-12-19). "Republican Karin Housley Enters Race For Al Franken's Seat". WCCO-TV. Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  19. ^ "Karin Housley Wins GOP Special Election Primary For Senate". 2018-08-14. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  20. ^ "Amy Klobuchar defeats Jim Newberger, Tina Smith defeats Karin Housley in U.S. Senate races". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  21. ^ "Housley Drawing Fire For Comparing Michelle Obama's Posture To Chimp". 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  22. ^ "Karin Housley starts super PAC for conservative candidates. But will she run for Senate again?". Twin Cities. 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  23. ^ Van Oot, Torey. "Republican Karin Housley won't run for U.S. Senate in 2020". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  24. ^ "Meet Karin". Karin Housley | Senator For Stillwater, Forest Lake & the St. Croix Valley | Minnesota - Official Campaign Site. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  25. ^ Tim, O'Shei (June 16, 2017). "Meet the Housleys: One wants a Cup, the other a governorship". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on June 22, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  26. ^ Russo, Michael (June 2, 2017). "Minnesotans Phil and Karin Housley make sports and politics mix". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on June 4, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  27. ^ "Housley Homes Keller Williams". Karin Housley Homes.
  28. ^ "Results for State Senator District 57". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  29. ^ "Results for State Senator District 39". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  30. ^ "Results for State Senator District 39". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  31. ^ "Minnesota Secretary Of State - 2018 General Election Results". www.sos.state.mn.us. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  32. ^ "Results for State Senator District 39". Forest Lake Times. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  33. ^ "Minnesota Secretary Of State - 2018 General Election Results". www.sos.state.mn.us. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  34. ^ "Minnesota Secretary Of State - 2018 General Election Results". www.sos.state.mn.us. Retrieved 18 December 2018.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
(Class 2)

Succeeded by