Senator Ken Kelash has proudly represented Senate District 63 in the Minnesota State Senate since he was elected to the post in November 2008. Senate District 63 includes the entire City of Richfield, the northeastern portion of Bloomington and a small section of south Minneapolis. Ken lives in south Minneapolis with his wife Elaine and two daughters, Katrina and Martha.
Ken was born on May 8, 1952 in Foley, Minnesota. He is one of nine children in a family that moved to Richfield in 1954, where Ken spent his formative childhood and teen-age years. Ken graduated from De La Salle High School and then went on to learn the carpentry trade at the Hennepin Technical Center. Ken was a union carpenter (32 year member of Carpenter's Local Union #1644), a union officer and a regional business agent for the union. Along the way, Ken went back to college where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Advertising and Marketing from Metropolitan State University and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Ken has been a member of the Policy Board of the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) for more than 10 years. He helped develop the Phase II planning guidelines for NRP and helped develop the Ethical Standards and Conflict of Interest policy for the program.
In 2002, Ken’s leadership in Labor, Public Service and Politics was recognized by the Bush Foundation in a competitive selection process. Ken was awarded the Bush Leadership Fellowship which he used to earn his MPA at Harvard.
Ken is retired from his work in carpentry. He now devotes his time to raising his family and to serving the residents of Senate District 63.