Kate (Ocken) Lundquist

Class of '04

Vote Run Lead, a nonprofit organization that trains women to run for political office and win, recently announced an expanded staff that features Kate (Ocken) Lundquist ’04 as its Minnesota deputy state director.

Lundquist was born and raised in Duluth and graduated from Bemidji State University with a K-8 teaching license. She spent several years teaching middle school English in Roseau. She has also worked as a birth doula. In 2020, Kate and her family moved to the Twin Cities and, soon after, started work with several political campaigns, including: Brooklyn Park Council member Xp Lee, State Rep. Esther Agbaje and State Sen. Clare Oumou Verbeten. As a breast cancer survivor, Lundquist always reminds women that self-examinations, routine doctor visits, and mammograms are key to early detection and survival.

Ashlee Bruner joined Lundquist as a new addition and is the new state director for Georgia.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ashlee and Kate as our new state directors,” said Sabrina Shulman, chief political officer with Vote Run Lead. “Their broad histories with their respective states, and their deep roots in their communities and passion for supporting women leaders make them great additions to lead Vote Run Lead training efforts in their states. We can’t wait to see and meet the women they help run for office — and win!”

With more than 55,000 women trained to run for office, Vote Run Lead is the largest and most diverse nonprofit training and campaign leadership program in the country and is focused on improving women’s representation in America’s statehouses. Vote Run Lead was founded by Erin Vilardi, formerly of The White House Project, and the organization seeks to unleash the political power of women as voters, candidates and leaders to create an equitable democracy.