Meet Carrie Ruud

Born-and-raised Minnesotan

Faith, family, and freedom are Carrie Ruud’s defining characteristics — and she isn’t afraid to say it.

Carrie Ruud has spent her life in Minnesota. She and her husband, Dick, currently live in Breezy Point. Together, they have five children, 18 grandkids, and ten great-grandkids. Carrie and Dick are broker/owners, along with their partner, Jim, of Lakes & Leisure Realty, Inc. They have been in business for nearly 30 years.

Carrie is also an avid hunter and angler. Her deer hunting camp has become a family tradition, making memories and telling “tall tales” with the grandkids. Spring crappie fishing brings the grandkids to the dock after a winter of walleye through the ice. Fall, of course, is for pheasant and duck hunting!

Representing the Lakes Area

Carrie was elected as the mayor of Breezy Point in 2000. In 2002, she was first elected to the Minnesota Senate, where she became known for her passionate advocacy for veterans, families, seniors, and the environment. After serving one term, Carrie returned to the private sector.

In 2012, Carrie was again elected to represent the Brainerd Lakes area in the Minnesota Senate; she was re-elected by a wide margin in 2016. In addition to serving in various leadership capacities, Carrie currently serves as chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee, where she is responsible for overseeing a budget of more than $600 million dedicated to protecting and enhancing Minnesota’s outdoors and arts heritage. Carrie is also a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Finance, Family Care and Aging, and Veterans and Military Affairs committees.

Minnesota’s great outdoors

Carrie is particularly passionate about the outdoors. Recognizing the incredible natural resources across our state, Carrie has become known as a champion for hunters and sportsmen and conserving our state’s unparalleled natural beauty for future generations.

Carrie loves being outside and taking in the many incredible natural wonders across Minnesota. She is an avid inline skater, runner, cyclist, snowshoer, skier, hiker, and kayaker. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Carrie is an accomplished snowshoe racer. She has competed at the U.S. National Showshoe Championships, earning a gold medal in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019, and a bronze medal in 2016, and the World Snowshoe Championships, earning a bronze medal in 2017. Carrie and her son also regularly compete in inline marathons.

As the Minneapolis Star Tribune put it, “Senator Carrie Ruud champions outdoors — and its consumers.”

Community leadership

Carrie knows the importance of being connected to the communities she represents — and it’s why she has taken an active role in a variety of organizations:

  • Aitkin Chamber of Commerce
  • Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce
  • Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Greater Lakes Association of Realtors (past president)
  • Greater Lakes Association of Realtors Governmental Affairs Board
  • Greater Lakes Association of Realtors “Realtor of the Year”
  • Ideal Community Service Organization
  • Lakeshore Conservation Club
  • Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
  • Minnesota Farm Bureau
  • National Rifle Association (NRA)
  • Pheasants Forever
  • Ruffed Grouse Society
  • Women’s Council of Realtors “Minnesota Realtor of the Year”

Legislative leadership

  • Aggregate Resources Task Force (former co-chair)
  • Asian Carp Task Force
  • Explore Minnesota Tourism Council
  • Great Lake Commission
  • Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus
  • International Legislators Forum
  • Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB)
  • Legislative Energy Commission
  • Legislative Permanent School Fund Commission (former chair; current member)
  • Legislative Surrogacy Commission
  • Legislative Water Commission (former member)
  • Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Association
  • National Caucus of Environmental Legislators
  • National Foundation for Women Legislators (past president; current member)
  • Unemployment Advisory Council