Carrie Ruud is state senator for the new District 10, which covers all of Crow Wing and Aitkin counties. And, she happens to live just north of Breezy Point on Pelican Lake.
Carrie grew up in Robbinsdale, but moved to the area when she bought Echo Ridge Supper Club, now Zorbaz in Crosslake, with her former husband.
When the restaurant didn’t work out, she got her real estate license. It was her career that led her to run for mayor of Breezy Point. It was a successful endeavor, and she served as mayor from 2000-02.
“I got involved as mayor because I went to a council meeting with a client. They needed help,” Carrie said. “I just thought I could help the city.”
At that time, Carrie lived in Breezy Point. She later moved to Pelican Township.
In 2002, Carrie was elected to what was then Senate District 4. She married Dick Rostad, who was her campaign manager.
“He wouldn’t marry me until I won the election,” Carrie said with a laugh. They were married in South Dakota, and Carrie jokes that she told Dick they were going pheasant hunting, then they got married instead.
Together, Carrie and Dick work at Lakes and Leisure Realty in Pequot Lakes, and have been in the business for almost 25 years.
Carrie served as senator until 2006, and since then she’s been out of office, continuing her work at Lakes and Leisure and taking care of her parents.
Both Carrie’s parents are World War II veterans. Her mother was a “Donut Dolly.” She drove a truck with a coffee maker and doughnut machine, and was on the front lines making doughnuts and coffee for the troops.
One of Carrie’s hobbies is inline skating. She once competed in an inline skating marathon from Athens to Atlanta, Ga. — it was 84 miles. She won the competition for her age group.
She also enjoys snowshoeing, especially when she can get her grandkids together and go with them.
Carrie’s a member of Mission of the Cross Lutheran Church in Crosslake, and said the church and her faith are a big part of her life.
“I think your faith and your family keep you grounded,” Carrie said.
She also has a therapy dog, Jasmine. Jasmine is a Labradoodle who visits area nursing homes.
Carrie said that both times she ran for state senator, she felt like the opportunity just fell into her lap. Both in 2002 and 2013, redistricting formed a district with no Republican candidate.
“It wasn’t something we planned on, it just came our way,” Carrie said.
Both times she ran, it was a decision Carrie discussed with her family, who she said is very supportive.
When Senate District 10 was formed, it was formed out of territory that had been represented by Sen. Paul Gazelka, who moved to Senate District 9.
“When Paul Gazelka moved, I was urged (to run) by a lot of people,” Carrie said.
She’s enthusiastic about her term in office, and grateful for the opportunity.
“I’m going to be as involved as I can to bring back good ideas to this district,” Carrie said. “I’m humbled to have this opportunity.”