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Meet Karen Baker

Karen stands as a fighter for Southwest Virginia, pledging to secure good jobs and a strong economy, ensure access to affordable housing, and support accessible childcare.

Karen grew up in a small town in the Midwest. She graduated from William Smith College in Geneva, New York, with a degree in comparative religion and earned her J.D. from Catholic University Law School in Washington, DC.


Karen served her country as a federal employee for 30 years, first as a trial lawyer for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, litigating large-scale sex, race, and age discrimination cases, and ultimately as the Assistant General Counsel for Systemic Litigation. She went on to be a federal Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration and served 17 years. Karen then went to nursing school at Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC and became a registered nurse in 2011. She spent her nursing career at a small rural hospital, working first in cardiac step-down and then in the intensive care unit.


Karen has one son, Sean, who she raised on her own for 15 years; she married Richard Kimm in 2004. Richard was a Navy aircraft carrier pilot, Sean a Marine, and grandson Trevor also a Marine.


Karen and Richard kept a small farm in South Carolina for 20 years, tending their horses and fostering rescued border collies. Richard suffered from Lewy body Dementia in his last years, and Karen cared for him at home. He died in 2014. After his death, Karen moved to Floyd County, Virginia, where she cared for her horses and goats on a mountaintop farm until her hip said no, and she moved to town and got a new hip in 2023.

She remains a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and has continued pro bono work assisting disabled individuals seeking disability benefits.


In all of her endeavors, Karen has been guided by her father’s Quaker values, instilled in her since her first memory of his explaining service to others, when she was four. She sees this candidacy as continued service and will give it her all. We can do this!

Southwest Virginia is filled with strong, independent people who want to preserve our way of life, keep our air and water clean, and find good jobs so that our children will stay here. I will fight for this. Southwest Virginia deserves respect.

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