Letter: The political path of women

Crystal Dueker of Fargo shares information about women in Congress.

Letter to the editor FSA

The milestone of Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., was an interesting glimpse into the success of women in the political arena since the first milestone of Jeanette Rankin, R-Mont., being elected the first woman in Congress in 1916. Rankin worked to get support for women to vote in Montana. The people might have elected her for showing up to do the work and gaining the right to vote for the women in her state and others.

Hattie Caraway was mentioned in the same April 26th article for being elected to the Senate, D-Ark., taking her office in 1931. But she was also a trailblazer as the first woman to preside over the Senate, the first woman to preside over a Senate committee, and the first woman be the chair over a Senate committee. According to my research, there are 59 women who have served or are currently in the US Senate.

After the publication of the book "Nine and Counting," voters sent four more female senators between the 1998 and the 2000 elections for a total of 13 women in the Senate by January 2001. One of them was Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., elected 1998, whom I met during the inauguration of President George Bush back in 2001. Right there in the Senate corridor, she made time for us to discuss the book, and about Jean Carnahan, D-Mo., being appointed to fill the seat after her deceased husband's Senate name remained on the 2000 ballot. For those who don't know, Joselyn Burdick was the first woman in the Senate from our state, who was also appointed to fill the remaining time of her deceased husband, Sen. Quentin Burdick, D-N.D.

One more point to mention about the 13 women in the US Senate: During our conversation, Lincoln liked my idea of a sequel book; saying she would discuss it with the other ladies. It must have been supported since soon a sequel book was indeed published titled "And Then There Were Thirteen."

Since the recent 2022 election, there are now 25 women in the U.S. Senate. That is including Katie Britt, R-Ala., and Becca Balint, D-Vt., Their milestone is being elected from the last two states to send a woman to Congress.


With all the hub-bub about books and education, these are two books to consider reading. You might be amazed at the diversity of these women on both sides of the political aisle representing their states from all walks of life, and about their diversity of viewpoints, heritage, and their various political experiences. Maybe it is time to suggest to the author to consider another sequel about all the women who served in the Senate since 2001, along with a story about each of the 25 women now in the Senate? I would buy that one as well for my own political library.

Crystal Dueker, Fargo, was a delegate at Republican conventions in 2000 and 2004 and has attended five CPAC events in Washington, D.C.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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