Retired Republican state Senator Nancy Brataas died Thursday at the age of 86.
The Post-Bulletin report Brataas became the first woman elected to the Minnesota Senate in her own right in 1975. She went on to serve 17 years in the Legislature and developed a reputation for being willing to work across the aisle with Democrats to get things done for Rochester.
During her career, the Rochester Republican helped pass a local sales tax to pay for the city's massive flood control project and laid the groundwork for the establishment of the University of Minnesota Rochester.
She began chairing the Rochester party in 1957 and went on to chair the state party from 1963 to 1969. She also worked in Washington, D.C., in 1972 on President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign.