For Carolyn Sampson, the seed of an idea planted five years ago has

grown into a full-grown campaign for state Senate in District 36.

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Sampson started considering her campaign in 2001, after she visited

current Senator Pat Pariseau to talk about a some issues that

concerned her at the time. She came away feeling like Pariseau wasn't

representing the interests of her district and, Sampson said, "I got

the little grain of an idea."

In Sampson's mind, though, the time to run for office was always

"someday." It wasn't until last December her grain of an idea turned

into something bigger and "someday" turned into "today."

Sampson, a 12-year resident of Castle Rock Township, was getting her

master's degree in public affairs and her advisor, himself a former

state Senator, encouraged her to run now. Since then, Sampson has

been raising money, knocking on doors and introducing herself to as

many people as she can. She received the DFL endorsement March 25,

getting 90 percent of the vote on the first ballot.

"I got a lot of support at the convention. I'm raising money. I've

been knocking on doors for about five weeks now and I've been to more

than 1,000 houses," Sampson said.

Sampson said she has enjoyed the campaign process so far.

"I enjoy door knocking and talking to the people," Sampson said.

"It's a lot of work to get a campaign together and get up volunteers

and raise money ... but talking to constituents has been wonderful."

Sampson, who identifies taxes and education as two of the issues most

important to her, said she has gotten a good response from the people

she has met so far.

"I am running for elected office because I am concerned about the

future of Minnesota's middle class families, like mine," Sampson

said. "I am part of an empty-nest couple, working to help our two

daughters earn degrees at the University of Minnesota. I understand

the concerns of two-income families: rising property taxes, a

transportation system in dire need of upgrading and an education

system in crisis."


Sampson, 44, is a Realtor with MarketLink Realty in Eagan and spent

more than 10 years in the marketing department at Dakota Electric

Association. She has a bachelor of arts degree in written

communication from the College of St. Catherine and a master of arts

in public affairs from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public

Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Sampson and her husband,

Jeff, live in Castle Rock. They have two daughters who both currently

attend the University of Minnesota.