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Carla Nelson

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Carla Nelson
Carla Nelson.jpg
Minnesota State Senate, District 26
In office
2011 - present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 4
Assistant Minority Leader, Minnesota State Senate
2013 - 2014
Base salary$31,140.90/year
Per diem$86/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Minnesota House of Representatives
2003 - 2005
Bachelor'sDrake University
Master'sUniversity of Minnesota
Date of birthMay 22, 1957
ProfessionTeacher/Owner Insurance and Investment Firm
Office website
Campaign website
Carla J. Nelson (b. May 22, 1957) is a Republican member of the Minnesota State Senate, representing District 26. She was first elected to the chamber in 2010. In the 2013-2014 session, Nelson served as an Assistant Minority Leader.

Nelson served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 to 2005.


Nelson earned her B.S. in Education with an emphasis in Special Education from Drake University and her M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership from the University of Minnesota. She also is certified as a reading specialist through the University of Minnesota. Nelson's professional experience includes working as an educator and small business owner.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Nelson served on the following committees:

Minnesota Committee Assignments, 2013
Capital Investment
Health, Human Services and Housing
Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Nelson served on the following committees:


Campaign themes


Nelson's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[1]

Jobs and the Economy

  • Excerpt: "As a small business owner, Carla knows we must improve Minnesota’s private sector job climate through lower taxation and smarter regulation. Minnesota is one of the least job friendly states in the nation. We must change this to keep and expand Minnesota jobs!"


  • Excerpt: "Carla will solve the massive looming budget deficit using a balanced approach. Increase revenues through increased economic activity. Hold a lid on and reduce job-killing tax burdens in an already highly taxed state. Reduce the size of government focus on priorities and increase results."


  • Excerpt: "Lawmakers must correct our school funding formulas to remove large funding disparities between school districts. Student achievement must be the focus of education reform and funding."


  • Excerpt: "Carla is an advocate for patient-centered health care. She will fight to preserve patient choice and will work to reform the payment system to reward outcomes. Carla authored legislation that formed the cutting edge Minnesota Partnership between Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota."



See also: Minnesota State Senate elections, 2012

Nelson won election in District 26 in 2012. She was unopposed in the August 14 Republican primary and defeated Kenneth Moen (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[2][3]

Minnesota State Senate, District 26, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngCarla Nelson Incumbent 55.7% 22,263
     Democratic Kenneth Moen 44.3% 17,692
Total Votes 39,955


See also: Minnesota State Senate elections, 2010

Nelson won election to the District 30 seat in 2010. She had no primary opposition. She defeated incumbent Ann Lynch (DFL) in the general election on November 2, 2010.[4]

Minnesota State Senate, District 30 (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Carla Nelson (R) 16,757 54.30%
Ann Lynch (DFL) 14,056 45.55%
Write-In 47 0.15%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Nelson is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Nelson raised a total of $285,557 during that time period. This information was last updated on December 21, 2013.[5]

Carla Nelson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Minnesota Senate, District 26 Won $79,419
2010 Minnesota Senate, District 30 Won $70,504
2006 Minnesota House, District 30A Defeated $42,708
2004 Minnesota House, District 30A Defeated $58,766
2002 Minnesota House, District 30A Won $34,160
Grand Total Raised $285,557


Nelson won re-election to the Minnesota State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Nelson raised a total of $79,419.
Minnesota State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Carla Nelson's campaign in 2012
Public Fund$6,952
Nelson, Carla J.$3,037
1st Congressional District Republican Party of Minnesota$1,000
Minnesota Telecommunication Alliance$500
Bouquet, John M.$500
Total Raised in 2012$79,419
Source:Follow the Money


In 2010, Nelson raised $70,504 in contributions.[6]

Her four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
Nelson Carla Jean House Dist 30A Cmte $14,014
Public Fund $11,567
1st Congressional District RPM $2,700
Nelson, Carla J $1,143


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Minnesota

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Texas scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2014, the Legislature was in session from February 25 through May 19.

Legislators are scored on bills of interest to an organization advocating "limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty."[7]
Legislators are scored on pro-choice issues.


In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 to May 20.

Legislators are scored "on key votes on issues concerning economic freedom, which includes taxes, budgets and spending, health care and more."[8]
Legislators are scored on votes of interest to a socially conservative "pro-family" organization.[9]
Legislators are scored on "a wide range of issues including taxes, government spending, elections, childcare unionization, property rights and energy policy" per "the traditional values position."[10]
Legislators are scored on votes of interest to an economically conservative organization.
Legislators are scored on votes regarding reproductive issues.

Taxpayers League of Minnesota

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota, a Minnesota-based taxpayer advocacy organization, releases a legislative scorecard for the Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota State Senate once a year. The scorecard gives each legislator a score based on how they voted in the prior legislative term on tax issues and “their efforts to balance the state budget without a tax increase.” The organization also compiles a legislator’s individual "Lifetime Score."[11]


Nelson received a score of 62% in the 2013 scorecard, ranking 26th out of all 67 Minnesota State Senate members.[12]


Nelson received a score of 43% in the 2012 scorecard, ranking 28th out of all 67 Minnesota State Senate members.[13]


Nelson received a score of 77% in the 2011 scorecard, ranking 21st out of all 67 Minnesota State Senate members.[14]


Nelson and her husband, Terry, have three children.

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Carla Nelson News Feed

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External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Parry (R)
Minnesota State Senate District 26
2013- present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ann Lynch (DFL)
Minnesota State Senate District 30
Succeeded by
Mary Kiffmeyer (R)