Carla, is the namesake of her grandfather, Carl who immigrated to America to pursue his American Dream. She is the daughter of two public school educators and has an extensive background in education, public service and business.
Carla earned an elementary and special education degree from Drake University and a Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota. Carla taught in small rural schools and most recently in the Rochester public schools. She has taught students in grades 1-9 as a special education teacher, a title one teacher, resource room teacher and as a middle school reading teacher. Carla, also a reading specialist, knows that reading well by third grade is essential to academic success, closing achievement gaps and keeping the American Dream open for all.
Carla is a small business owner and earned national recognition as a MDRT member for several years. Carla and Terry have three grown sons, two wonderful daughters in law, and two precious grandchildren.
Terry and Carla are members of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, Veterans groups and are members of Autumn Ridge Church.
Republican and Democrat governors alike have appointed Carla to key state boards that demand bipartisan cooperation. Carla has been appointed to:
- Office on the Economic Status of Women Advisory Committee
- Minnesota Capitol Area Architectural Planning Board
- Minnesota Higher Education Finance Authority Board
- Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation
- Governor’s Workforce Development Council;
- Serve Minnesota
- Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs.
Carla remains involved in her community and is serving or has served in a number of roles, including:
- Rotary member
- PEO member
- Daughter of the American Revolution member
- Trustee on the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust
- Board of Directors for the SPARKS Children’s Museum
- Rochester Orchestra and Chorale Member
- Served as President of Friends of Mayowood
- Rochester Network For Reentry Board of Directors
- Rochester Music Guild Board of Directors
- Junior Achievement Board of Directors.
Carla’s Awards & Endorsements During her time in elected office, Carla has received many awards and endorsements, including:
MN Police & Peace Officers Association
MN Professional Firefighters Association
Economic Development Legislator of Distinction
Legislator of the Year
Public Service Award
Minnesota Charter School Champion Award
Distinguished Advocacy Award
MN Pipe Trades Association
Legislator of the Year Award
Farm & Rural Legislator Award
Legislative Champion Award
School Social Work Legislator of the Year
North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters
Local Control Legislator of the Year
Champion of Racial Justice
Friend of Public Education Award
Distinguished Legislator Award
International Union of Operating Engineers
Guardian of Small Business Award
Friend of Retail Award
Legislator of Distinction
Environment Legislator of Distinction
You can endorse Carla Nelson, too!
On November 8th, we have the opportunity to send Carla back to Saint Paul to continue working for our district. Show your support for Carla by voting on November 8th in-person, voting in-person prior to the election, or voting absentee. Learn more by clicking the link below.
Representing our Communities Our new district 24 includes all of Dodge County, parts of the city of Rochester, and parts of Olmsted County, including Byron, Stewartville, all of Kalmar, Salem, Rochester, Rock Dell, and High Forest Townships, and parts of Cascade and Marion Townships
Carla has a long record of working across the aisle, building coalitions and finding solutions. Her accomplishments are making SE Minnesota communities a better place to live, work and play. Here are just a few of them: