Did you know that 4 of the 5 recent Arizona Governors have been women?
I attended a panel discussion at the 2nd Annual Tucson Festival of Books about women politicians in Arizona (pre 1950). Then I started thinking about the women politicians since then and now:
Arizona Governors Rose Mofford (1988 to 1991), Jane Dee Hull (1997 to 2003), Janet Napolitano (2003 to 2009), Jan Brewer (2009 to present) were either Secretary of State or Attorney General before becoming Governor. Governor Brewer is seeking re-election in November, 2010. Prior to Governor Mofford, all of Arizona’s Governors were men.
Two of our 8 U.S. House Congressmembers are now women: Gabrielle Giffords (serving since 2007 in CD Eight) and Ann Kirkpatrick (serving since 2009 in CD One). Isabella Greenway was the first Congresswoman from Arizona (served 1933 to 1937).
Arizona's first Congresswoman Isabella Greenway
Two of the 5 Supervisors on the Pima County Board of Supervisors are women: Sharon Bronson (District 3) and Ann Day (District 1).
3 of our current 6 Tucson City Councilmembers are women: Shirley Scott (Ward 4), Karin Uhlich (Ward 3), and Regina Romero (Ward 1). At one time till December 2009 we had 4 women Councilmembers, including Nina Trasoff (Ward 6).
There are two women’s groups in Arizona promoting the election of more political office holders who are women:
The Arizona Women’s Political Caucus (AWPC) promotes pro-choice women candidates, saying on their website: “We are the only multi-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to increasing the number of pro-choice women in elected and appointed office. We work to help women attain leadership positions at all levels of government.” AWPC was founded in 1972 in Arizona.
Arizona List (founded in 2003) says they are “one of the state’s largest political networks and one of the largest financial resources for women candidates. We are the only Super PAC solely dedicated to electing women in Arizona. We are determined to change the face of Arizona by electing pro-choice Democratic women to state and local office.”
Arizona is in 9th place of 50 states in the percentage of women legislators (31.1%). Women hold 28 of the 90 legislative seats in Arizona. Several women candidates are running for the state legislature this year.
Up for re-election:
State Senate: Paula Aboud (LD 28), Linda Lopez (LD 29)
State House: Patricia Fleming (LD 25), Nancy Young Wright, (LD 26)
Candidates seeking election:
- Cheryl Cage in LD 26,
- House Rep. Olivia Cajero Bedford in LD 27,
- Marian McClure (former State House Rep.) in LD 30.
- Terri Lynn Proud in LD 26,
- Sally Ann Gonzales (former House Rep. & Pascua Yaqui Tribal Councilwoman) in LD 27,
- Mohur Sidhwa and Marlena Fineberg in LD 28,
- Andrea Dalessandro and Parralee Schneider in LD 30.
And only one woman attorney Felecia Rotellini is seeking the Arizona Attorney General job, in a field with five male attorneys. Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall has been serving since 1996, the first woman in that office. Only four women (27%) serve as County Attorneys of the 15 counties in Arizona.
Granted, there are more men running than women in all these races, but women have indeed come a long way in Arizona politics since 1950. Happy Women’s Herstory Month of March again, as indicated by these women, who seem to have strong backgrounds to run for public office.
Just ask LD 28 House candidate Mohur Sidhwa about her story of being an Indian immigrant from Pakistan who chose (as a teenager) to come to America, instead of staying over there and wearing a burqa.