After serving on the Carbondale City Council, this Democratic Party politician took office as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. In 2014, she campaigned for the position of Illinois State Comptroller.
After earning her bachelor's degree from Wittenberg University, she received her law degree from Georgetown University and subsequently worked for Illinois' Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.
During the mid-1990s, she was a Jackson County, Illinois Assistant Prosecutor. A decade later, she began teaching law at Southern Illinois University.
Her marriage to political science professor Perry Knop resulted in two children. She was born into a political family: her father, Paul, also served as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois (during the late 1960s and early 1970s), and her mother, Jeanne, was an Illinois State Representative.
She served as Lieutenant Governor during the gubernatorial administration of fellow Democrat Pat Quinn.