|Member of the Minnesota Senate|
from the 26th district
|Assumed office |
January 4, 2011
|Preceded by||Ann Lynch|
|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives|
from the 30A district
January 7, 2003 – January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||redrawn district|
|Succeeded by||Tina Liebling|
|Born||May 22, 1957|
Webster City, Iowa
|Political party||Republican Party of Minnesota|
|Alma mater||Drake University|
University of Minnesota
|Occupation||teacher, small business owner, legislator|
Carla J. Nelson (born May 22, 1957) is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota Senate. A member of the Republican Party of Minnesota, she represents District 26, which includes portions of Olmsted County in the southeastern part of the state.
Early life, education, and career
Nelson graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, receiving her B.S. in special education. She went on to attend the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, earning her M.Ed. in teacher leadership, and her reading specialist certification.
Nelson was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and was re-elected in 2012. She previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 to 2005, and was a member of the House's Education Policy, Higher Education Finance, and Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs committees. Her special legislative concerns include health care, commerce, higher education, and taxes. Nelson was named an assistant minority leader in November 2012.
Nelson was an appointed member of the Minnesota Higher Education Finance Authority Board from 2005 to 2009, of the Capitol Area Architectural Planning Board (CAAPB) from 2005 to 2010, and of the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation Board from 2008 to 2010.
Nelson has been a member of Junior Achievement, the University of Minnesota Citizens Advisory Council, and the Rochester Music Guild. She is a former board member of Next Chapter Ministries, a member of the board of directors of Friends of Mayowood, a member of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Government Affairs and Government Forums Committee, and a former member of the Rochester Symphony, Orchestra, and Chorale, on which she was an Aspiring Conductor winner.
2018 U.S. House campaign
In October 2017, Nelson announced that she was running for the United States House of Representatives in the 2018 election. She was defeated in the August 12, 2018, Republican primary by Jim Hagedorn.
The 1st district seat became open after Democratic incumbent Tim Walz announced he would not seek reelection for the seat and instead would run for Minnesota Governor. Nelson failed to secure the Republican Party endorsement on April 21, 2018, when Jim Hagedorn earned 76% of the vote on the first ballot. Nelson was endorsed by Minnesota State Representative Nels Pierson, Winning for Women, CatholicVote.org, and Susan B. Anthony List, Maggie's List, and the National Rifle Association (NRA).
- Brooks, Jennifer (October 2, 2017). "Carla Nelson of Rochester Joins Race to Replace Walz in Congress". Star Tribune.
- "Hagedorn Tops Nelson In 1st Congressional GOP Race". CBS Minnesota. August 14, 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
- "Nelson, Carla J. - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". www.leg.state.mn.us.
- "Senator Carla J. Nelson (R) District 26". www.senate.leg.state.mn.us.
- Kimball, Joe (November 19, 2012). "Two GOP state senators named additional assistant minority leaders". Minn Post.
- "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart.
- Carlson, Heather J. (October 2, 2017). "Nelson running for Congress". Post-Bulletin. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
- Pathe, Simone (March 27, 2017). "Minnesota's Tim Walz Running for Governor". Roll Call. Washington, D.C. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Krohn, Tim (April 23, 2018). "Hagedorn, Feehan claim party endorsements for Congress". Mankato Free Press. Mankato, MN. Retrieved April 23, 2018.