Karen Keiser

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Karen Keiser
Keiser karen.jpg
Washington State Senate District 33
In office
Term ends
January 12, 2015
Years in position 14
Base salary$42,106/year
Per diem$90/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Washington State House of Representatives
Bachelor'sUniversity of California, Berkeley, 1969
Master'sUniversity of California, Berkeley, 1973
Date of birthSeptember 29, 1947
Place of birthSioux City, IA
Office website
Karen Keiser is a Democratic member of the Washington State Senate. She has represented District 33 since her appointment in 2001. Previously, she was appointed to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1996 and served there until her appointment to the Senate in 2001. Keiser's first political experience began with her service as Precinct Committee Officer of the 33rd District from 1988 to 1995.[1]

Keiser earned her BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley in 1969. She went on to earn her MSJ in Journalism from the University of California-Berkeley in 1973. She then graduated from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Keiser was a reporter for several TV stations. From 1972 to 1975 she worked for KGW-TV, Oregon. She then worked for KMGH-TV, Colorado, from 1975 to 1978. She went on to work for KSTW-TV, Washington, from 1979 to 1981. Keiser also was Communications Director for the Washington State Labor Council from 1981 to 2006.[2]

Committee assignments


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

Washington Committee Assignments, 2013
Commerce & Labor
Health Care
Ways & Means
Joint Administrative Rules Review


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



See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2010

Karen Keiser was re-elected to the Washington State Senate District 33. She ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 17, 2010. She defeated Republican Jack Michalek in the November 2, 2010 General Election.[3][4]

Washington State Senate, District 33 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Karen Keiser (D) 20,559 59.78%
Jack Michalek (R) 13,833 40.22%
Washington State Senate, District 33 Primary (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Karen Keiser (D) 11,107 57.77%
Green check mark transparent.png Jack Michalek (R) 8,120 42.23%


In November 2006, Keiser was re-elected for the 33rd District of the Washington State Senate receiving 18,083 votes.

Keiser raised $223,090 for her campaign.[5]

Washington State Senate, District 33 (2006)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Karen Keiser (D) 18,083
Karen Steele (R) 10,898

Campaign donors


In 2010, Keiser received $117,669 in campaign donations. The top contributors to the campaign are listed below.[6]


In 2006, Keiser collected $223,090 in donations.

Listed below are the top four contributors to her campaign. [7]

Donor Amount
Alliance for Washington Entertainment PAC $1,400
Washington Refuse & Recycling Association $1,400
Campaign for Tribal Self-Reliance $1,400
Washington Education Association $1,400


Political positions

Debt negotiations

Keiser is one of the members of a bipartisan group organized by the National Conference of Legislatures called the Task Force on Federal Deficit Reduction (TFFDR). Consisting of 23 state lawmakers from 17 states,[8] the group went to Capitol Hill on September 21, 2011 to urge the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to cut the nation's debt but not impose severe budget cuts on the states.

TFFDR urged the Committee to consider new revenue as a possibility, instead of just focusing on budget cuts as House Speaker John Boehner has proposed. The group specifically proposed passage of the "Main Street Fairness Act," which would allow states to tax online retailers.[9]


Keiser is divorced with three children David, Elizabeth and Marc.


Freedom Foundation

See also: Freedom Foundation's Big Spender List

The Freedom Foundation releases its Big Spender List annually. The Institute ranks all Washington legislators based on their total proposed tax and fee increases. To find each legislator’s total, the Institute adds up the 10-year tax increases or decreases, as estimated by Washington’s Office of Financial Management, of all bills sponsored or co-sponsored by that legislator. [10]


Keiser proposed a 10-year decrease in state taxes and fees of $3.01 billion, the 44th highest amount of proposed new net taxes and fees of the 46 Washington state senators on the Freedom Foundation’s 2012 Big Spender List.[11]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Washington Senate District 33
Succeeded by