Senator Mary K. Kunesh was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016 and served for two terms before being elected to the Senate in 2021. She represents Senate District 39, which covers the communities of St. Anthony Village, New Brighton, Hilltop, Columbia Heights, Fridley, and Spring Lake Park.

 Kunesh was born in Saint Paul and raised in Sartell, Minnesota. Her mother is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and her father a former St. Cloud City Attorney, and later Assistant Stearns County Attorney. She attended St. Catherine University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education in 1995, and later attended St. Cloud State University, graduating with a Master of Arts in information media in 2010. She retired from her role as a library media specialist for Robbinsdale Area Schools in November 2020, most recently Robbinsdale Middle School. Kunesh resides in New Brighton and has three adult children.

Sen. Kunesh is chair of the Education Finance Committee, and serves on the Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development Committee, Education Policy Committee, and Environment, Climate, and Legacy Committee.