I grew up in poverty in the rural town of LaFayette, Georgia. My parents struggled financially, so as the oldest of five children, I was responsible for helping to make ends meet. Despite our limited means, my parents worked hard to provide us a supportive home and a quality education. Through their sacrifice and perseverance, I learned the values of integrity, honesty, hard work, and service.
My life changed when Representative Buddy Darden nominated me to attend the United States Air Force Academy. While there, I ran cross country and was a soaring flight instructor. I graduated in the 10th class to accept women. Then, as an Air Force intelligence officer, I served during the first Gulf War supporting Operation Desert Storm. I am honored to have received many awards while serving our country.
After serving in the Air Force, I pursued my dream of becoming a lawyer. To do so, I returned to Georgia to attend Emory University School of Law. During my legal career, I have served in numerous capacities, to include serving as legal counsel to Governor Roy Barnes where I was part of the team that changed the Georgia flag. I also helped pass legislation, to include the establishment of a protective order registry to protect victims of domestic violence. Next, I served as a federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Georgia where I prosecuted child predators, sex traffickers, fraudsters, gun smugglers, and other crimes. One initiative I am particularly proud of is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that took guns out of the hands of violent criminals and reduced crime in the affected communities.
In this year’s legislative session, I serve as a member of the Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security Committee, the Special Judiciary Committee, the Natural Resources and the Environment Committee, and the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.
I was honored to co-sponsor Senate Bill 48 requiring schools to identify and support students in grades K-3 with dyslexia. With the passage of this bill I hope to help break the cycle of poverty that is often tied to dyslexia. I also joined my colleagues in the Democratic Party in fighting HB 481 (Extreme Abortion Ban) and co-sponsored the bill to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Georgia.
In addition to my legislative duties, I am a partner at the Atlanta law firm of Krevolin & Horst where I lead the firm’s whistleblower practice. I work with my clients to expose fraud and corruption at the highest levels. By defending their rights, we have saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars while promoting transparency and exposing corruption. I am considered a top lawyer in Georgia and my peers have ranked me as a top 100 Georgia Super Lawyer.
My family and I have lived in Lawrenceville, Georgia, for over 25 years. I have been married to Bruce Karinshak for almost 30 years, and we have two teenage daughters. Bruce works for the Coca-Cola Company, and is a West Point graduate who served in the Army as a Combat Engineer (Airborne Ranger qualified). We are active members in our church and are involved in our community.