Karen Fraser’s remarkable political career ends

August 4th, 2016 by Ken

After more than 40 years of serving Thurston County as an elected official, Karen Fraser has now come to the end of her remarkable political career.

Karen came in third in her race to be Lieutenant Governor.   There were 11 candidates vying for the job.   Only the top two go on to the General Election, thus dooming Karen to being unemployed and unelected for the first time since 1973.

Karen started her rise to power and local political fame when she was appointed to the Lacey City Council in 1973.  She came from the Lacey Planning Commission where she had been the first woman appointed to that body.  She then became the first woman on the city council.   A few short years later, Karen ran for the position of mayor and was the first woman mayor of the City of Lacey.

Her political career was just getting started.   She ran for Thurston County Commissioner and was elected.   She served two terms as a commissioner before running for a house seat in the state legislature.   When the opportunity arose, she ran for the state senate, a position she currently holds.

She got started with the help of the women’s movement, just building strength in the 1970’s.   Karen blazed the path for dozens of other women to go on to serve in every local elective office.  Part of her strength and longevity had to do with her personality.  She liked people and people liked her.   I’ve been her friend for more than 40 years.   She strived to build consensus with different factions and always made certain to listen to all sides.

I suspect that her public service isn’t over.   I think that she will be appointed to some board or commission.

However, now that her political career is over, it’s time for the City of Lacey to honor its first woman mayor.

Posted in Government, History, Local Politics, The Real News

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