Kristen Dexter was born and raised in Hallock, Minnesota, on the farm where her dad and grandfather were born and where her parents still live. She spent her childhood riding horse, fishing, playing in the woods and helping on the farm. Kristen graduated from UW-River Falls with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts.
After graduation Kristen moved to Minneapolis and began a small business as a metalsmith.
Kristen and her husband Donn (David) married in 1992 and have three children. Donn grew up in St. Paul and after high school graduation he served four years in the Navy as a medical corpsman on the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. After his discharge, he began college at the University of Minnesota with the help of the GI Bill. He graduated from Mayo Medical School and in addition to his clinical practice in neurology he is Assistant Medical Director for a large health system in Eau Claire.
Kristen and Donn chose to make Eau Claire home because the Chippewa Valley seemed like a good place to raise a family – and they
were right. Together with their children they enjoy canoeing, kayaking, camping, and music. When her kids were young Kristen was involved in community activities like Meals on Wheels, Girl Scouts, and the Altoona Library Board. She was a busy volunteer in the Altoona schools and in 2002 was elected to serve on the Altoona Board of Education. Her interests in politics grew, and in November 2008 she defeated an incumbent to become the first woman to represent the 68th Assembly District.
In the Assembly Kristen served as the Vice Chair of the Committee on Education and as a member of the Committee on Public Health, Committee on Renewable Energy and Rural Affairs, and the Committee on Rural Economic Development. She was an ambitious lawmaker and earned several “Legislator of the Year” awards. Outside of the Capitol Kristen has continued to be a strong advocate for her community.