Senator Kent Eken


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Eken Portrait

State Senator Kent Eken represents Senate District 04, encompassing all of Norman and Clay County and parts of Becker County, including Detroit Lakes.

Eken was born and raised on the fourth generation family farm in Twin Valley, Minnesota where he still lives to this day. His father, Willis Eken, was a state representative for several years, including time spent as the Majority Leader.

After graduating from Twin Valley High School, Eken went on to get a B.A. at Concordia College in Moorhead and then received a Master’s from St. Cloud State University in History. After spending several years as a farmer, he went on to become a high school social studies teacher, as well as an adjunct instructor at MSU Moorhead and the Technical and Community College in Detroit lakes.

Senator Eken was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2002 and served there until his election to the Senate in 2012, spending his last term as an Assistant Minority Leader.

Eken has long been focused on legislation that supports all Minnesotans, and has advocated for issues like education, long-term care, reducing property taxes, flood mitigation and control, and ensuring that Minnesota is a great place to live, work and raise a family. He has received numerous awards based on his work as a legislator. These include: the Guardian of Public Schools Award from the Minnesota School Board’s Association for his commitment to helping Minnesota’s students reach their full potential; Legislator of the Year from the Long-Term Care Association for his work to continue quality long-term care for seniors and the disabled; Legislator of Distinction from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities for his work on reducing property taxes and offering regulatory relief; Legislator of the Year from the Soil and Water Conservation Districts for his work on flood reduction; the Triangle Award from the Farmers union for his work to strengthen Minnesota’s agricultural economy; and the 2015 ARRM Leadership Award for his advocacy work that has significantly impacted Minnesotans with disabilities

Eken still lives on the family farm with his wife, Lori, and four children: Adam, 9, Amber, 11, Sam, 16, and Kara, 20. He is a member of Zion Lutheran Church (former Council member and former Sunday School teacher), Farmers Union, Farm Bureau, Twin Valley Lions Club and Ducks Unlimited. He is also a licensed pilot. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, camping, and reading.


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    This Wednesday I'll be joining Representative Paul Marquart and Representative Ben Lien for a community conversation as part of the Minnesota Values Project. Please join us from 5:30pm-7pm at the Moorhead Public Library for a discussion about our shared values and the future of our great state! ...

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    This Thursday I will be joining Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans for the My Minnesota town hall event in Moorhead. We will be discussing budget priorities for the state and hope that you can join us at MSUM for this important conversation! ...

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    This weekend the State Capitol is celebrating the competition of a massive four year restoration project and the results are something we can all be proud of! If you happen to be traveling in the twin cities I encourage you to stop by and check out some of the free events taking place all weekend, including concerts, building tours, and much more. ...

    Minnesota State Capitol Grand Opening Celebration

    August 11, 2017, 7:30am - August 13, 2017, 8:00pm

    The Minnesota State Capitol Grand Opening Celebration is a three-day long event being held August 11-13 at the fully restored State Capitol in Saint Paul. The celebration commemorates the completion of the Capitol Restoration Project and welcomes ALL Minnesotans back to the “People’s House” at a nearly cost-free weekend-long event. Visit us online at mn.gov/mymncapitol for more information about Grand Opening weekend, daily event schedules, ticket sales, directions, maps and more! Be sure to mark your calendar, it’s sure to be a summer celebration you won’t want to miss! ___________________________________________________ GRAND OPENING WEEKEND EVENT HIGHLIGHTS: • Kids Zone featuring family-friendly events hosted by the Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Children's Museum, Minnesota Zoo, the Minnesota Historical Society, and famous authors and librarians from across the state. • Outstanding Entertainment includes diverse music and dance performances from groups of singers and dancers celebrating Minnesota's vibrant culture! Other entertainment highlights include a Prince Dance Party with DJ Dudley D, "Cap Untapped" Craft Beer Garden Event presented by the Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild and The Current, a free evening concert from The Current Presets: Cloud Cult and Polica, an extended fireworks show, and "Bring the Sing on the Capitol Green" community choral event lead by Classical Minnesota Public Radio and VocalEssence! • Yoga and Breakfast on the Capitol Lawn: Grab your yoga mat and join us for some sun salutations on the Capitol Mall! Yoga classes will be led by the YWCA St. Paul. On Saturday, free water bottles are provided to participants while supplies last. A limited supply of free blueberry muffins will be served each day, compliments of General Mills. • Tours: Guides from the Minnesota Historical Society and a host of Capitol tenant volunteers will lead you on a tour of the Minnesota State Capitol building. Grand Opening Tours will include special behind-the-scenes looks at restored spaces including the Loggia and Quadriga, Governor's Office, the House and Senate Retiring Rooms, and the private Supreme Court Conference Room. Dusk each day will feature a special viewing, raising, and lighting of the Rotunda Chandelier. • Getting to the Capitol: Take free Metro Transit rides on Saturday and Sunday to the Capitol. State-owned Capitol-area parking lots are accessible for free on Saturday and Sunday. ___________________________________________________ THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS, PARTNERS, AND THE PEOPLE OF MINNESOTA! JE Dunn Construction, Xcel Energy Minnesota, Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council, Metropolitan Council, Star Tribune, Cargill, HGA Architects and Engineers, Pohlad Family Foundation, Hubbard Broadcasting, Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild, Minnesota Vikings, Comcast, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Target, 3M, Best Buy, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Tunheim, Mortenson Construction, Delta, Clear Channel Outdoor, Carl Bolander & Sons, Minnesota Power an ALLETE Company, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx, Thrivent Financial, AFSCME, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Harris Companies, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Faegre Baker Daniels, Ameriprise Financial, Messerli & Kramer, Alpha Video & Audio, Minnesota Community Foundation, Cost Planning & Management International, Inc, (CPMI), Medtronic, CHS, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., University of Minnesota, Minnesota College Savings Plan, YWCA St. Paul, General Mills, Land O'Lakes, Inc., Minnesota Orchestra, Pioneer Press, Minnesota Public Radio, and COMPAS.

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