Kim Norton

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Kim Norton
45th Mayor of Rochester
Assumed office
January 7, 2019
Preceded byArdell Brede
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 25B district
29B (2007–2013)
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 2, 2017
Preceded byFran Bradley
Succeeded byDuane Sauke
Personal details
Born (1957-09-22) September 22, 1957 (age 61)
Miami Beach, Florida
Political partyIndependent (2017-present)
Other political
Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (before 2017)
Alma materUniversity of Nebraska
OccupationNonprofit district manager

Kim Norton (born September 22, 1957) is a Minnesota politician and current mayor of Rochester. She previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives as a Democrat, representing District 25B, consisting mostly of the northern portion of the city of Rochester in Olmsted County in the southeastern part of the state.[1] She was elected to become the first female mayor of Rochester in a nonpartisan race in November 2018.[2]

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Norton was born in Miami Beach, Florida at a military base. She earned a B.S. in Human Development and Special Education, specializing in Early Childhood Education, at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. She also attended graduate school there, studying Deaf Education, Behavioral Impairments and Curriculum.[1]

Norton served on several committees in the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning from 1998–2003 and, upon returning to Rochester, served on the Rochester School Board (as clerk in 2001, chair in 2005, and treasurer in 2006) prior to being elected to the House.

Political career[edit]

Norton being interviewed for All Things Considered

Norton first ran against incumbent Rep. Fran Bradley in 2004, an election she lost by 311 votes. She ran again in 2006, defeating Republican challenger Rich Decker by just 99 votes. In 2008, she easily won re-election against Republican challenger Jason Johnson.[3] In 2010, she was re-elected over Republican challenger Mike Rolih.[4]

Norton stated in September 2015 that she would not seek re-election in the 2016 election[5] saying "I've made the decision, after a couple of years of consideration, that it's time for me to retire, so I am not going to run for re-election in 2016. It makes me a little sad, I will say, but at the same time it feels like the right thing to do and the right time to do it."[6]

Norton said that following her announcement not to run for reelection to the Minnesota House of Representatives that she was "fed-up" with partisan politics, and since leaving the House, she has worked to stay out of party politics.[7] During her tenure as a state representative, she was widely viewed as a moderate, with a history of going against the DFL on major issues.[8]

Election history[edit]

2018 Rochester Mayoral Election[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Nonpartisan Kim Norton 31810 67.73
Nonpartisan Charlie O'Connell 14968 31.80 -
N/A Write-In 220 0.47 -
2014 Minnesota State Representative- House 25B[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Kim Norton (Incumbent) 9844 94.91
N/A Write-In 528 5.09
2012 Minnesota State Representative- House 25B[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Kim Norton (Incumbent) 11869 57.53
Republican Melissa Valeriano 8725 42.29 -
2010 Minnesota State Representative- House 29B[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Kim Norton (Incumbent) 7820 53.34
Republican Mike Rolih 6829 46.58 -
2008 Minnesota State Representative- House 29B[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Kim Norton 12142 61.50 +11.27
Republican Jason Johnson 7553 38.26 -
2006 Minnesota State Representative- House 29B[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Kim Norton 7761 50.23 +1.10
Republican Rich Decker 7662 49.59 -
2004 Minnesota State Representative- House 29B[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Kim Norton 9353 49.13 -
Republican Fran Bradley 9664 50.77 -16.87

Personal life[edit]

Norton has four children: Chris, Cody, Katie, and Kelsey.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Minnesota Legislators Past & Present - Legislator Record - Norton, Kim". Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  2. ^ Richert, Catharine (January 7, 2019). "Newly elected Rochester politicians promise more transparency". Minnesota Public Radio.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ "» DFL Rep. Norton will not run for re-election".
  6. ^, Heather J. Carlson. "Norton won't seek re-election, mulls mayoral bid".
  7. ^ "Party recommendations enter nonpartisan races". Post-Bulletin. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  8. ^ "Norton's retirement decision speaks volumes". Post-Bulletin. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  9. ^ "Election Reporting". Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  10. ^ a b "Election Reporting". Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  11. ^ "Election Reporting". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  12. ^ "Election Reporting". 2004-12-22. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2010-07-20.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ardell Brede
Mayor of Rochester, Minnesota