Kathy enjoyed motherhood and didn’t want to work full-time while her children were young. Kathy worked part-time and limited term jobs while raising her children in order to help out with family finances. When all three children were in school full-time she was hoping to get a full-time job. There was little opportunity to find a good paying job with a high school education.
In the spring of 1993 Kathy applied to UW Eau Claire. She was accepted as a non-traditional student, at age 37. Knowing that she still had to help the family financially, she waitressed 3 nights a week, while taking 12-15 credits a semester. All 3 children were in sports, one in wrestling, one in hockey and one in figure skating and gymnastics.
A business major was underway, but Kathy was far more interested in politics so she changed her major to political science. During that time in her life, she had determined she was a conservative, not a liberal.
Against all odds with tears streaming down her cheeks, Kathy graduated from UW Eau Claire in May of 1998 with her children and parents by her side. She went through a tough divorce during her 3rd year in college.
Kathy’s graduation party was also her campaign announcement for County Clerk. Kathy noted some concerns with open meetings and open records violations, as well as some finance issues in regard to the health insurance fund and budgeting processes. She made her concerns known to the press for which she received significant backlash. Kathy received many phone calls and comments of support from citizens and employees.
Kathy served as a Village Trustee for the Village of Lake Hallie. She was the liaison to the Clerk/Treasurer’s office and provided leadership and guidance to the police commission and the parks and recreation board.
Kathy made a difficult decision to run for the 68th Assembly in 2010. This meant that if she won, she would take a significant pay decrease, but her desire to make a difference for the citizens of the Chippewa Valley and the State of Wisconsin pulled her in that direction. Kathy won her election by a slim 93 votes.