Karin Housley

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Karin Housley
Karin Housley 2018.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 55)
South St. Paul, Minnesota,
Political partyRepublican
Phil Housley (m. 1985)
EducationAugsburg University
State University of New York, Buffalo (BA)

Karin Housley (born January 20, 1964) is an American politician, businesswoman, and Republican member of the Minnesota Senate, where she represents the Forest Lake area and the St. Croix River Valley. Housley ran unsuccessfully as the Republican nominee in Minnesota's 2018 special election for 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. She attended Augsburg College and later transferred to the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she graduated in 1988 with a B.A. in communication studies.[1]

Minnesota Senate[edit]

In 2010, her first run for public office, Housley was narrowly defeated by DFL incumbent Katie Sieben for election to the Minnesota Senate.[2] After redistricting placed Housley's residence in a new district, she was elected to that seat in the 2012 election, defeating her opponent by one percent.[3] She was re-elected in 2016, defeating her opponent by more than 20 percent.[4][5]

As a state Senator, Housley is best known for her work on issues related to aging and long-term care and veterans.[6] Housley was instrumental in the creation of a first-ever Minnesota Senate committee on aging, which she currently chairs.[7][8] In 2019, Housley was successful in passing historic protections for elderly and vulnerable adults and a licensing system for assisted living facilities, bringing Minnesota in line with the rest of the nation.[9][10] Housley was selected by her colleagues to serve as an assistant majority leader for the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions.[11]

Political campaigns[edit]

In 2014, Housley was selected by Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour, a businessman from Orono, to be his candidate for lieutenant governor of Minnesota.[12] The pair was defeated in the 2014 Republican primary.[13]

In December 2017, Housley announced she 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.[5] 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.[14] Housley won the Republican primary and was defeated by Smith, the Democratic incumbent, in the general election.[15][16]

Housley is reportedly considering running for the same U.S. Senate seat again in the 2020. In March 2019, she registered TruNorth PAC, a political action committee to assist conservative candidates running for federal office in Minnesota.[17]

Personal life[edit]

After briefly attending Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Karin moved to Buffalo, New York in 1983 to be with her then-boyfriend, Phil Housley, who had just been drafted by the Buffalo Sabres. Karin and Phil, who are high school sweethearts, married in 1985.[18] After living in several cities across the United States and Canada during Phil's National Hockey League career, the Housleys moved back to Minnesota in 2003. Karin and Phil have four grown children and two grandchildren and reside in St. Marys Point.[19][20]

Housley owns a real estate business in Stillwater.[21]

Electoral history[edit]

Minnesota Senate District 57 election, 2010[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Katie Sieben (incumbent) 15,812 50.94
Republican Karin Housley 15,206 48.98
Minnesota Senate District 39 election, 2012[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Karin Housley 23,385 50.62 +1.64
DFL Julie Bunn 22,754 49.25 -1.69
Minnesota gubernatorial primary election, 2014[24]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Johnson/Bill Kuisle 55,836 30.33
Republican Kurt Zellers/Dean Simpson 44,046 23.92
Republican Marty Seifert/Pam Myhra 38,377 21.1
Republican Scott Honour/Karin Housley 38,377 20.84
Republican Merrill Anderson/Mark D. Anderson 7,000 3.8
Total votes 184,110 100
Minnesota Senate District 39 election, 2016[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Karin Housley (incumbent) 28,960 61.29 +10.67
DFL Sten Hakanson 18,237 38.60 -10.65
United States Senate special Republican primary election in Minnesota, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Karin Housley 186,384 61.95%
Republican Bob Anderson 107,102 35.60%
Republican Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey 7,355 2.45%
Total votes 300,861 100%
United States Senate special election in Minnesota, 2018[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Tina Smith (incumbent) 1,370,540 52.97 -0.18
Republican Karin Housley 1,095,777 42.35 -0.56
LMN Sarah Wellington 95,614 3.70 N/A
Independent Jerry Trooien 24,324 0.94 N/A
n/a Write-ins 1,101 0.04 0.00
Total votes 2,587,356 100.0% N/A


  1. ^ "About Karin". Karin Housley 24/7. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  2. ^ Lightbourn, Jane (November 3, 2010). "Sieben wins in very close race". Hastings Star Gazette. Hastings, Minnesota. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  3. ^ Goodrich, Kristine (November 14, 2012). "Election: Many leaders return, several ousted". White Bear Press. White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  4. ^ Lebens, Alicia (November 12, 2016). "Incumbents retain seats in state Legislature". Stillwater Gazette. Stillwater, Minnesota. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  5. ^ a b "Washington County Republican Karin Housley wants Al Franken's Senate seat". St. Paul Pioneer Press. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  6. ^ "Our View / Endorsement: Helping the elderly inspired Housley". Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  7. ^ "The thoroughly modern marriage of Phil and Karin Housley". The Buffalo News. 2017-11-23. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  8. ^ Lebens, Alicia. "Housley campaigns for U.S. Senate". hometownsource.com. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Nelson, Tim (2019-05-20). "Elder care reform package on way to governor's desk". MPR News. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  11. ^ "Hortman, Gazelka are chosen as Minnesota legislative leaders". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  12. ^ Salisbury, Bill (2014-05-30). "Scott Honour picks first-term lawmaker Karin Housley as running mate". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Orrick, Dave (2017-12-19). "Republican Karin Housley Enters Race For Al Franken's Seat". WCCO-TV. Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  15. ^ "Karin Housley Wins GOP Special Election Primary For Senate". 2018-08-14. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  16. ^ "Amy Klobuchar defeats Jim Newberger, Tina Smith defeats Karin Housley in U.S. Senate races". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  17. ^ "Karin Housley starts super PAC for conservative candidates. But will she run for Senate again?". Twin Cities. 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  18. ^ "The thoroughly modern marriage of Phil and Karin Housley". The Buffalo News. 2017-11-23. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "Housley Homes Keller Williams". Karin Housley Homes.
  22. ^ "Results for State Senator District 57". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  23. ^ "State Senator District: 39". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  24. ^ "2014 Primary Election Results". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  25. ^ "State Senator District 06". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  26. ^ "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
Mike McFadden
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
(Class 2)

Most recent