One Hundred Years (And Then Some!) of Women Running for Office in Ohio
About the Book
Almost 150 years before Hillary Clinton, Victoria Woodhull, one of Ohio’s own, ran for president of the United States in 1872. In 1922, six women were elected to the state legislature, and Florence Allen was the first woman to ever be elected to a state supreme court in the nation. Ohio was on the forefront of women’s activism and representation.
By 2023, Ohio was one of 17 states that had never elected a woman to the US Senate. Only one woman had ever run for governor, and she lost. In the Ohio State House of Representatives, the proportion of women has been more or less increasing, but the number of women in the state senate has stalled, and Ohio is ranked the bottom half of states.
An analysis of trends over the past 100 years combined with the inspiring stories of the state’s trail blazers, this 50-page book tells the stories of the remarkable women who have represented Ohio. The state can be proud of its long history of electing women to public office, and in the 21st century, we can see a great deal of change, but some things remain stubbornly the same.
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Victoria Woodhull, born in Homer, Ohio, was the first woman to run for president in 1872. She was called “Mrs. Satan” by the press for her views on women’s equality.
Frances Payne Bolton, the first woman to represent Ohio in the US Congress, was elected to the House in 1940 and served for thirty years. Photo: Cleveland Public Library
Munira Abdullahi, elected in 2022 at the age of 26, was the first Somali woman and first Muslim woman to serve in the Ohio Statehouse. Photo: Ohio Ladies Gallery
About the Author
Barbara Palmer is Professor of Political Science at Baldwin Wallace University and creator and Executive Director of the Center for Women and Politics of Ohio. Professor Palmer teaches courses on American politics, civil rights and liberties, and women and politics, and serves as the Director of the Legal Studies Program. She has done interviews, invited talks, and podcasts with a wide variety of groups across the country and internationally on sex-discrimination law, American elections, and the history of the integration of women into Congress. She has been interviewed by the Washington Post, The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, Ideastream (Cleveland Public Radio), and Die Ziet (Germany). In 2018, she was awarded the Erika Fairchild Award by the Southern Political Science Association for her strong record of service, commitment to students and teaching, and collegial spirit. Throughout her career, collaborating with several non-profit organizations, she has worked with over 500 young women from across the nation, inspiring them to get involved in politics. She received her PhD from the University of Minnesota.