Karen Minnis

Karen Minnis

Politician
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Karen Minnis

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Karen Minnis (born July 1954) is a Republican politician in Oregon, United States. She was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives from 1998 to 2009, and served as Speaker of the House from 2003 to 2006.

Early life

Born and raised in Portland, Minnis is a graduate of James Monroe High School in Portland and attended Clark Community College. She married he high school sweetheart, John Minnis, in 1972, with whom she has three children: two married sons and a daughter. They also have three grandsons and one granddaughter.

While a housewife, Karen held jobs as a dental assistant, a waitress, and delivering newspapers, putting John through college. John first told Karen he wanted to run for office when she was pregnant with their third child. She then worked as his legislative aide for a decade, an experience she credited with providing a valuable education in politics.

Political career

Karen ran for John's seat in the House in 1998, when he was forced out of office by newly-enacted (and short-lived) term limits. He went on to serve in the Oregon State Senate.

Minnis served her fifth term in the House, during the 2007–2008 sessions. She represented District 49, which included the cities of Fairview, Troutdale, and Wood Village, and a portion of Gresham, in east Multnomah County. She served as Speaker during the 2003 and 2005 legislative sessions and the 2006 Special...
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