Karen Fraser

Karen Fraser
Member of the Washington Senate
from the 22nd district
Assumed office
January 11, 1993
Personal details
Born (1944-09-12) September 12, 1944
Seattle, Washington
Political party Democratic Party
Alma mater University of Washington
Website Official

Karen Fraser (born September 12, 1944) is a Washington State Senator (Democrat) for the 22nd District, comprising the northern portion of Thurston County, including all of Olympia, Lacey, and most of Tumwater.

Before joining the Senate, she was a former State Representative, Thurston County Commissioner and Mayor of Lacey. She was also the past President of the Washington State Association of Counties.

As of the 2008 Legislative session, she is vice chair and Capital Budget chair of the Ways & Means Committee, and is a member of the Natural Resources, Ocean & Recreation Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Water, Energy & Telecommunications Committee.[1]

Fraser was an unsuccessful candidate for Lieutenant Governor in the 2016 primary election, which she ultimately lost to fellow Democrat Cyrus Habib.


Fraser graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a Masters of Public Administration from the university's Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. She was founder of the Legislative International Caucus

Honors and Recognition

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation, 2014

The Inaugural Washington Water Leadership Award, The Center for Environmental Law & Policy, 2014

Distinguished Leader Award, Leadership Thurston County and Thurston County Chamber Foundation, 2014

“Global Connect” Award, Olympia World Affairs Council, 2014

Appreciation Award from Governor of Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, for promoting international friendship and leadership, 2013

Luis Fernando Esteban Public Service Award for promoting Hispanic relations in Washington State, 2012

Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, Caucus Leader Award, 2011

Citation of Merit, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, 2005

Hyogo Prefecture, Japan (Washington’s Sister State), Award for contribution to international friendships, 2009

Legislator of the Year, Washington State Arts Council, 2009

Special Appreciation, Washington Parks and Recreation Foundation, 2009

Legislator of the Year, Washington State Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice, in recognition of her work for social, economic and environmental justice in Washington State, 2009

Senator of the Year, Washington Farm Forestry Association, 2007

Legislative Excellence Award, Washington State School Retirees Association, 2007

Hero Award, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, 2005

Certificate of Appreciation, Washington State Coalition for the Homeless, for Leadership and dedication to increasing the Housing Trust Fund, 2005

Super Star, Washington State Skills Center, 2005

Woman of Distinction, Olympia YWCA, 2004

Seventh Generation Legacy Award, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, 2004

Leadership Award, Washington State Combined Fund Drive Board, 1999 and 2004

“Fearless Leader, Justice Seeker, Faithful to the Democratic Vision” Award, Panorama Democratic Study Group, 2004

Service Award, Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association, 2004

Co-Legislator of the Year, Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association, 2003

Puget Sound Hero Award, People for Puget Sound, 2001

Leadership Recognition for the Neah Bay Rescue Tug, Governor Gary Locke, 2003

Conservation Champion, Washington Conservation Voters, 2002

VIP Award, Washington State College Women’s Programs Council, 2002

Leadership Award, Washington Association of School Administrators, District 113, 2001

Leadership Counts Award, Washington Public Employees Association, 2000

Legislator of the Year, Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, 2000

Legislative Citation of Merit, Washington Recreation and Parks Association, 1998

Program Leadership Award, Nisqually River Management Program, 1998

Distinguished Leadership Recognition, Association of Washington Housing Authorities, 1998

Certificate of Appreciation, Washington Federation of State Employees members of the Judicial Staff of the Washington State Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, 1998

Legislator of the Year, Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association, 1996

Legislator of the Year, Washington Health Care Association, 1996

Legislator of the Year and Puget Sound Hero, People for Puget Sound, 1995

Woman of Distinction, Pacific Peaks Girl Scout Council, 1995

Toll Fellow, Council of State Governments, 1993

Outstanding Leadership Award, Washington State Boating Safety Officers Association, 1993

Silver Beaver Award, for service to youth, Boy Scouts of America

Woman Who Wins Award, a community recognition award sponsored by The Olympian and KGY radio

Finalist, Thurston County Citizen of the Year (twice) Legislator of the Year, Washington Federation of State Employees, 1993


A lifelong Washington resident, born in Seattle One daughter, two granddaughters Enjoys outdoor recreation: summited four of Washington’s major peaks; hiked and backpacked throughout the Olympics and Cascades; won numerous awards for racing her own sailboat in Puget Sound races; completed the Capital City Marathon twice Enjoys travel Enjoys living in Thurston County

See also


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