She graduated from Bay View High School and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee before serving as an intern with the United Nations.
Potter was first elected to the Assembly in a special election in 1989. In 1993, she became the first woman to serve as Majority Caucus Chairperson in Wisconsin. She later became Minority Caucus Chairperson in 1995 and 1997.
Potter is a Democrat.
Potter was later a member of the faculty at Milwaukee Area Technical College, Alverno College and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and spent time in Italy, India, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Japan.