Alumnae win political races at the municipal, county and state levels

A number of St. Kate's graduates ran successful campaigns in the 2016 election cycle.
Close-up photo of the American flag on a breezy day

St. Catherine University graduates won political campaigns for re-election in several races across the state of Minnesota.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum '87, first elected in 2000, was re-elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Currently in her eighth term, McCollum represents District 4, which covers St. Paul, Ramsey County, and much of Washington County.

Michelle Benson '91, a Minnesota state senator since 2010, was re-elected to serve District 31, which covers portions of Anoka, Isanti and Sherburne counties. She is the Assistant Minority Leader.

Laurie Halverson '02 was re-elected as a Minnesota state representative for District 51B in Eagan, where she's served since 2012.

Mary Kunesh-Podein '95 was elected to her first term in the Minnesota House. She represents District 41B, which includes Columbia Heights, Hilltop, Saint Anthony and New Brighton.

Erin Murphy MAOL'05, currently serving her sixth term representing District 64A in the Minnesota House, also won re-election. She is the Deputy Minority Leader, and represents St. Paul.

Mary Jo McGuire '78, a Ramsey County Commissioner since 2012, was re-elected. She represents residents of Lauderdale, Little Canada, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville and St. Anthony.

Two St. Kate's alumnae also won mayoral races. Incumbent Elizabeth Kautz '82 has served as the Burnsville, Minnesota mayor since 1994 and ran unopposed in 2016. Tanya Velishek '94, was first elected to the Jordan, Minnesota city council in 2008. In February 2016, she was appointed mayor, and won the mayoral election this fall.

Victoria Hebzynski Seals '01 was elected to her first term on the Orono, Minnesota, City Council.


Did we miss other Katies who were elected or re-elected for public office this November? Let us know! We will update this list if we inadvertently missed someone. Email