She was first elected to the Senate in 1996, and was re-elected in 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2010. She served as a majority whip from 2001 to 2006.
Progressive Minnesota endorsement
Despite the successful effort by conservative Democratic Party forces to deny Progressive Minnesota the opportunity to use fusion in the fall of 1996, the "state legislative candidates that sought our nomination still see themselves as Progressive Minnesota candidates, and we're still backing them in the general election". Progressive Minnesota/New Party endorsed candidates included Ellen Anderson, Karen Clark, Andy Dawkins, Linda Higgins, and Sandy Pappas. Progressive Minnesota has also endorsed Green Party USA State Assembly candidate Cam Gordon.
- DFL Party
- United Transportation Union
- Sierra Club
- DFL Veterans Caucus
- Stonewall DFL GLBT Caucus
- Planned Parenthood
- MFT 59
- Education Minnesota
- [The Columbus Free Press New Party Online News - November 1996 Running to Win New Party members are busy knocking on doors, hammering down lawn signs, and phoning voters to support NP candidates this fall]
- official state senate website, endorsements, accessed Aug. 21 2011