Maine: An Encyclopedia
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Legislature, Women Members

Women Legislators 1923-1917

Women Legislators 1923-1917

Year House Senate Total
1923 1 0 1
1925 1 0 1
1927 4 2 6
1929 4 3 7
1931 4 1 5
1933 3 1 4
1935 6 1 7
1937 6 2 8
1939 4 1 5
1941 5 1 6
1943 6 0 6
1945 5 1 6
1947 3 1 4
1949 3 0 3
1951 4 1 5
1953 6 1 7
1955 7 1 8
1957 10 1 11
1959 11 1 12
1961 12 2 14
1963 8 3 11
1965 10 2 12
1967 14 1 15
1969 13 0 13
1971 16 1 17
1973 18 1 19
1975 23 1 24
1977 28 2 30
1979 30 4 34
1981 36 6 42
1983 35 6 41
1985 35 9 44
1987 43 10 53
1989 48 10 58
1991 50 12 62
1993 48 11 59
1995 39 11 50
1997 35 13 48
1999 35 16 51
2001 41 15 56
2003 37 13 50
2005 33 11 44
2007 45 12 57
2009 47 8 55
2011 45 7 52
2013 47  7 54
2015 44 8 52
2017 54 10 64

From at least 1923 through the 1950’s, women constituted fewer than 10 members of the male-dominated state legislature in any session. Beginning in the 1960’s, and taking off in the 1970’s, women’s membership rose to over 60 of the 183 legislators in 1991.

In 2017 the number of women House members surged to a historic high of 36%, and led the full legislative membership of women to high of 34% . Women members of the Senate in 2017 represents 28% of the Senators.

The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, approved in 1920, gave women the right to vote. In 1922, the first year in which women were eligible to vote, Dora Pinkham of Fort Kent, a Republican, was the first woman elected to the Maine House of Representatives, taking office in 1923. She was then elected in 1926, with Katherine C. Allen of Hampden, also a Republican, as the first women to serve in the Maine Senate beginning in 1927.

In 2003, Beverly Daggett of Augusta became the first woman President of the Senate; in 2005, Beth Edmonds of Freeport became the second.

Elizabeth (Libby) H. Mitchell was elected as Maine’s first Speaker of the House in 1996, and as Senate President in 2008. She became the first woman in the United States to serve as both the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House at the state level.

Minnie Craig, born in Phillips, became the first woman state Speaker of the House in North Dakota in 1933.

In 2001, 11 of the 17 Democrats in the State Senate were women, the first time that women were a majority of either party in either house of the Maine legislature. In 2013, the Democrats were the majority party again, and all 7 of the women in the Senate were Democrats.

This entry was posted in Government, Society, Legislature, People (non-government), Women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
This entry was last modified: January 13, 2017 05:29 PM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *