House 2017-2020 (District 41B); Senate 2021-2022 (District 41); Senate 2023-Present (District 39)
Party when first elected: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey
St. Catherine's University, St. Paul; B.A.; Elementary Education, 1995St. Cloud State University; M.A.; Information Media, 2010
Three children: Elianne, Louisa, Elie
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:
Special legislative concerns: Education, civil justice, environment, American Indian issues.During her State Representative tenure her name was Mary Kunesh-Podein.She is the first indigenous woman to serve in the Minnesota Senate.She refers to herself as a person of Lakota heritage on her 2020 campaign website.Her "mother and grandfather [were] enrolled members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe." (Minnesota Lawyer, April 27, 2017)She was a founding member of the Native American and People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) caucuses.She has 12 siblings (she is nine of thirteen kids) in her family and has a twin.
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