How Can We Get More Women In Elected Office? Look to New Hampshire.

How Can We Get More Women In Elected Office? Look to New Hampshire.

The people of New Hampshire take great pride in holding the nation’s first presidential primary every four years. But the Granite State has a new claim to fame: its number of women in elected office.

As reported after the 2012 elections in Bloomberg Businessweek, New Hampshire became the first state in the U.S. “to put female politicians in control of the governor’s office and the entire congressional delegation.” Over the course of American history, men have usually been in that position—women first won a congressional or gubernatorial election less than a century ago, and even today, Iowa and Mississippi have never elected a single woman to those offices.

But after the 2012 election, in which Maggie Hassan won an open seat election for governor and two women swept the U.S. House races to join two previously elected female U.S. senators, New Hampshire became the first state to reverse that historic norm. Today, New Hampshire women hold those seats as well as the office of mayor in two of the state’s five largest cities. Moreover, just over a third of state legislators are women, placing New Hampshire fifth in the country for state legislative representation.

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