This Progressive State Has Never Sent a Woman to Congress

Posted: Mar 23, 2018 4:27 PM
This Progressive State Has Never Sent a Woman to Congress

Vermont is notoriously progressive, making its distinction as the only state to have never sent a woman to Congress particularly awkward.

The Green Mountain State had previously shared the title with Mississippi, but that ended this week when Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith to temporarily fill retiring Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat. 

Vermont has had a female governor, Madeleine Kunin, but even she said it’s “a little embarrassing to be beaten out by Mississippi” in this regard.

At the state level, Vermont does have a “higher-than-average percentage of women serving” in the legislature, at 40 percent. This is compared to the national average of women serving in state legislatures, which is at 25 percent, reports.

Former Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz suggested the infrequent turnover in the state's congressional delegation may be to blame. 

Vermont, with a population of about 625,000, is the second-least populous state in the country, meaning it has only one at-large representative to the U.S. House.

Nevertheless, Markowitz tweeted Thursday, "We have a great delegation — but when there is a vacancy, count me in!"

Markowitz, who is now teaching at the University of Vermont, said after she tweeted that she missed public service and didn't believe the lack of women in Congress meant the state's voters were hostile to women. (Boston Herald)

Still, she said, “it's high time we had a woman representing Vermont.”

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