The Femo: A ‘new’ New Hampshire

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by Ashleigh McEvoy

Tuesday ushered in a groundbreaking moment for the state of New Hampshire, as it elected the nation’s first all-female delegation. Newly elected Democratic Reps. Ann McLane Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter will join Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, in Congress. New Hampshirites also selected Democrat Maggie Hassan as governor.

Beating out opponent Republican Ovide Lamontagne by a 12.1 percent margin, Hassan will replace four-term Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who opted not to run for re-election. She will be the only female Democratic governor in the country this term, as well as the second female governor of the state of New Hampshire. Current Senator Shaheen was the first, serving from 1997 to 2003.

Hassan was previously a senator in the State Senate from 2004 to 2010. She attained her undergraduate degree at Brown University and received her J.D. from the Northeastern School of Law, later working for Palmer & Dodge, and serving as associate general counsel for Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Partners Healthcare, and for Sullivan, Weinstein, and McQuay. Hassan ran on a platform of education and jobs, promising to restore funding for the state college system. She also supports LGBT equality, environmental protection, and clean energy, and she has vowed to veto any sales or income tax.

What this all-women, all-mother delegation means for politics in New Hampshire in the coming years remains to be seen. Regardless, this is obviously an exciting victory for gender equality. It is retribution for the War on Women. It’s also important to note that all but one of these women are Democrats; despite being considered a swing state, New Hampshire voted quite progressively this time around. I, personally, hope this delegation of women will lead the charge in civil rights, pushing for women’s rights both in their home state and on the national stage. But I also ask myself — why has it taken this long for there to be an all-women delegation? How soon will there be one again? When will the day come that this will not be an oddity?

 

photo by Roger H. Goun: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sskennel/1203679033/sizes/o/in/photostream/