Biography

Sen. Karen Keiser represents Washington’s 33rd Legislative District, which contains a number of suburban cities south of Seattle, including SeaTac, Kent, Des Moines and Burien. As President Pro Tempore, she presides over the Washington State Senate when the lieutenant governor is unavailable. And as chair of the Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee, she champions policies that help working families and improve women’s economic security.

As the former chair and a current member of the Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee, Sen. Keiser was a pivotal leader in reforming Washington’s health care system, fully implementing the Affordable Care Act, and passing Washington’s nation-leading Paid Family and Medical Leave program. She has also served as the lead Senate Democratic negotiator on the Capital Budget. Sen. Keiser currently serves on the budget-writing Ways & Means Committee and as vice chair of the Rules Committee.

Sen. Keiser was born and raised in the rural state of Iowa and moved to California for her senior year in high school. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in journalism. She worked as a broadcast journalist in Portland, Denver and Seattle before becoming the communications director for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. She and her husband had three children, two sons and a daughter.

Sen. Keiser was appointed to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1995 and ran and won her first election in 1996. She was appointed to the Washington state Senate in 2001 and has been re-elected four times. When not running or serving in office, Sen. Keiser enjoys singing, dancing and gardening.

TVW: Legislator Profiles

"We can make really permanent, sustainable progress on work and family issues if we persuade people to join us."