Ann Rest first won election to the Minnesota Legislature in 1984. She served for 16 years in the House of Representatives, and was elected to the Senate in 2000. She won reelection in 2002, and was elected by her colleagues to be the Senate Assistant Majority Leader. She was re-elected to the Senate in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2016. She was named Senate President Pro Tem in 2013.
Sen. Rest has previously served as Vice Chair of the Rules Committee and as Chair of the House Tax Committee. She serves on the Legislative Audit Commission, which she has chaired, and on the Capitol Preservation Commission. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Streamlines Sales Tax Governing Board and is the past chair of the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus. She is a Minnesota member of the Great Lakes Commission. She is a long time member of NCSL’s Executive Committee’s Task Force on State and Local Taxation.
While a member of the Minnesota Legislature, Rest has won awards for her work in tax policy, public finance and economic development policy, annexation, library issues, DWI legislation, and youth tobacco policy.
Sen. Rest holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with departmental honors in Latin and Greek (1964) from Northwestern University where she was named a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She earned graduate degrees in classics, business taxation, teaching, and public administration respectively from the University of Chicago, the University of Minnesota, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Sen. Rest is a retired certified public accountant. She was named a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow in 1991 for study at the Kennedy School.
Sen. Rest is the lay leader of Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church. She is the organizational representative to Troop 476 of the Boy Scouts of America. She is an enthusiastic volunteer for Days for Girls/New Hope, which sews and assembles sustainable feminine hygiene kits that are then distributed to girls in Africa and South America. She belongs to the League of Women Voters, Rotary Club, and the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce.
A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Sen. Rest has lived in Crystal and New Hope since 1970. Her daughter, Susan, and son-in-law, Jim, live in Woodbury with their two children, Jakob (“Kaye”) and Jonas.