Mayor Kim Norton

Mayor Kim Norton. (Ken Klotzbach /

Kim Norton, the first woman to be mayor here, is much in the public eye — seen at meetings and events continually around town.

In life outside of city hall, Norton said: “I’m married to Randy Stone. I have four children and a stepson — all grown adults. And we have two grandchildren who we adore — Zoe and Henry.”

Less known are her favorite activities and interests, including kayaking. “I prefer river kayaking in light-to-moderate rapids,” she said. “Favorite local spots are the St. Croix, Cannon and Root Rivers. Chester Woods is great on an early Sunday morning, too! … I also love to read, and we belong to a couples book club.”

“I drive an electric car. I love traveling, including by train. I was a gymnast in my youth. I cry at movies. I love family antiques.”

Please tell us a bit about your style.

Classic. Rustic for casual wear. …I like fitted clothes, probably as a result of living in a leotard as a dancer — ballet — and a gymnast when I was young.

Sources of inspiration?

My maternal grandmother! She loved clothing and shopping. Both of my grandmothers were remarkable in very different ways. But my maternal grandmother always had shoes that matched her dress and a hat that matched her shoes, and jewelry — ensembles. … She would be in an “ensemble” when she gardened, planting 150 geraniums.

My grandmother lived in a little town in Illinois and loved shopping. … She would take me shopping for school. She might not have always bought me things that were the best for school. But she encouraged me to pick out the latest. I think she bought me my first pair of hot pants.

How has your style changed with your roles in life?

Less suits and more dresses these days.

What do you prefer to wear when working as opposed to other settings?

Dresses, fitted dresses for work. On weekends, turtlenecks and corduroys. … Comfy and easy-going clothes.

What is it about fitted dresses that you like?

I feel professional in a fitted dress. In control. It is important to be confident. To be comfortable in who you are.

I am probably one of the only women who still wear pantyhose with dresses, even in warm weather. They are not as easy to find today. But they go with wearing a dress. … Maybe that is my grandmother coming through.

What do you hope your style communicates at work?

Professionalism. That I am approachable and open.

What are the most essential components in your wardrobe?

White shirts, T-shirts and turtlenecks. Black and navy pants or suits. Cable sweaters.

What should every well-dressed woman have in her wardrobe?

Heels! I love high heels. Although, I have had to go smaller as I have aged. I went door to door in heels when I was campaigning. … Again, maybe this is my grandmother’s influence. … She was trained in ballet. And in dance, it’s about the line, your posture, your stature. … Heels help give you that.

Are you a purse or a tote person?

I have both and use a cross-body purse often to keep hands free.

Your favorite accessories?

My wedding ring and other gifts from my husband.

Do you have priceless sentimental pieces?

A brooch and bracelet from my grandmother. Diamond earrings made from my two grandmothers’ wedding rings.

Anything people would find surprising in your wardrobe?

Lots of corduroy.

Favorite color or colors to wear?

Green. Any pop of color to counter natural or dark suits.

Preferred style season?

I have far more winter clothes — they last longer, so I just keep adding for mix and match.

Is there anything Minnesota about your style – either weather-wise or in terms of practical values?

I dress — says my executive assistant, Michon Rogers — to utilize any method of transportation needed or available … This means I wear a dress and heels to scooter or bike!

Does your home décor reflect your style?

Yes, a bit. I love wood, antiques, art … but understated and comfortable.

Finishing thoughts?

Be yourself!

Anne Murphy is a Rochester freelance writer who has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years. Do you know somebody who’s got special style? Send nominations to or call Meredith Williams at 507-281-7488.

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