Age: 47.

Address: 900 Fourth St. N.W., Austin.

Family: She is a parent, along with her husband, Bob Vilt, of three teenagers.

Work history: Grew up on a farm in southeastern Minnesota. She has been involved in human service work, education and counseling for the past 20 years and is a career counselor at Riverland Community College.

Education history: A 1975 graduate of Houston High School, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in sociology. She earned a master's degree in counselor education at Winona State University in 1984.


Community activities: Secretary of the Austin Human Rights Commission. Vice chairwoman of the Austin Area Foundation Board of Trustees. Since last year, she has served as coordinator of the Mower County Youth Leadership for Vital Communities, working with a team of 12 to 18 young people. The team recently completed a video project on the need to strengthen relationships between youths and adults in Mower County.

Government history: Served eight years on the Austin City Council, representing the 2nd Ward. During that time, she served four years on the Development Corporation of Austin and eight years on the Mower County Public Health Advisory committee. She was finance chairwoman for four years and represented the city on the Mower County Family Services Collaborative.

Contact information: Phone, (507) 433-5687 or 1-877-490-8014; e-mail,; Web site,

Top three issues:

1. Health care

2. Education, pre-K through college

3. Our rural economy

Candidate's statement:


I will be an advocate for the district. I will demand accountability and work to bring greater cooperation and positive outcomes into the legislative process.

Five questions of the candidate:

1. Does state and national government bear any responsibility for the shortage of flu vaccine this year? Yes.

2. Is the family farm threatened with extinction in the 21st century? Yes.

3. Are today's public schools preparing our children for a competitive world economy? No. I believe they are doing their best, but I think they lack the resources to truly prepare their students.

4. Do poor people in Minnesota stand a better chance of working their way above the poverty line than they did 20 years ago? No. Especially as resources for education and job skills training diminish.

5. Can the state do more to help local authorities deal with the methamphetamine problem in rural Minnesota? Yes.

What To Read Next
Get Local