Women in the United States Senate

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There have been 50 women in the United States Senate since it started in 1789.[1]

Rebecca Felton was the first. She was in the Senate for one day in 1922. Hattie Caraway was the first woman elected to the Senate in 1932.

Fourteen of the women Senators were not elected. They were appointed. Seven of them were appointed to replace their dead husbands.

In 2017 there are 21 women senators out of 100. That is the largest number of women in the Senate at the same time.

Women in the Senate now[change | change source]

Class State Name Party Prior Experience First took
office
Born
3 Alaska Lisa Murkowski Republican Alaska House of Representatives 2002 1957
1 California Dianne Feinstein Democratic President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Mayor of San Francisco, gubernatorial nominee 1992 1933
3 California Kamala Harris Democratic State of California Attorney General, District Attorney of San Francisco 2017 1964
1 Hawaii Mazie Hirono Democratic Hawaii House of Representatives, Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, gubernatorial nominee, U.S. House of Representatives 2013 1947
3 Illinois Tammy Duckworth Democratic U.S. House of Representatives 2017 1968
2 Iowa Joni Ernst Republican Montgomery County Auditor; Iowa Senate 2015 1970
2 Maine Susan Collins Republican Deputy Maine Treasurer; gubernatorial nominee 1997 1952
1 Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren Democratic Special Adviser to the President for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 2013 1949
1 Michigan Debbie Stabenow Democratic Michigan House of Representatives, Michigan Senate, U.S. House of Representatives 2001 1950
1 Minnesota Amy Klobuchar Democratic-Farmer-Labor Hennepin County Attorney 2007 1960
1 Missouri Claire McCaskill Democratic Missouri House of Representatives, State Auditor of Missouri, gubernatorial nominee 2007 1953
1 Nebraska Deb Fischer Republican Nebraska Legislature 2013 1951
3 Nevada Catherine Cortez Masto Democratic State of Nevada Attorney General 2017 1964
2 New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen Democratic New Hampshire Senate, Governor of New Hampshire 2009 1947
3 New Hampshire Maggie Hassan Democratic New Hampshire Senate, Governor of New Hampshire 2017 1958
1 New York Kirsten Gillibrand Democratic U.S. House of Representatives 2009 1966
1 North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp Democratic North Dakota Attorney General, North Dakota Tax Commissioner, gubernatorial nominee 2013 1955
3 Washington Patty Murray Democratic Washington Senate 1993 1950
1 Washington Maria Cantwell Democratic Washington House of Representatives, U.S. House of Representatives 2001 1958
2 West Virginia Shelley Moore Capito Republican West Virginia House of Delegates, U.S. House of Representatives 2015 1953
1 Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin Democratic Wisconsin State Assembly, U.S. House of Representatives 2013 1962


All women senators[change | change source]

Image Name
(lifespan)
State Term start Term end Length of
service (days)
Entered by Left for Party
Sen. Felton Rebecca Felton
(1835–1930)
Georgia November 21, 1922 November 22, 1922 1 Appointment Appointment ended Democratic
Sen. Caraway Hattie Caraway
(1878–1950)
Arkansas December 9, 1931 January 3, 1945 4,774 Appointment Lost renomination Democratic
Sen. Long Rose Long
(1892–1970)
Louisiana January 31, 1936 January 3, 1937 337 Appointment Appointment ended Democratic
Sen. Graves Dixie Graves
(1882–1965)
Alabama August 20, 1937 January 10, 1938 143 Appointment Appointment ended Democratic
Sen. Pyle Gladys Pyle
(1890–1989)
South Dakota November 9, 1938 January 3, 1939 55 Special election Retired Republican
Sen. Bushfield Vera C. Bushfield
(1889–1976)
South Dakota October 6, 1948 December 26, 1948 81 Appointment Appointment ended Republican
Sen. Smith Margaret C. Smith
(1897–1995)
Maine January 3, 1949 January 3, 1973 8,766 Election Lost reelection Republican
Sen. Bowring Eva Bowring
(1892–1985)
Nebraska April 16, 1954 November 7, 1954 205 Appointment Appointment ended Republican
Sen. Abel Hazel Abel
(1888–1966)
Nebraska November 8, 1954 December 31, 1954 53 Special election Retired and resigned early[n 1] Republican
Sen. Neuberger Maurine Neuberger
(1907–2000)
Oregon November 9, 1960 January 3, 1967 2,246 Special election Retired Democratic
Sen. Edwards Elaine Edwards
(born 1929)
Louisiana August 1, 1972 November 13, 1972 104 Appointment Appointment ended Democratic
Sen. Humphrey Muriel Humphrey
(1912–1998)
Minnesota January 25, 1978 November 7, 1978 286 Appointment Appointment ended Democratic
Sen. Allen Maryon Allen
(born 1925)
Alabama June 8, 1978 November 7, 1978 152 Appointment Lost nomination to finish term Democratic
Sen. Kassebaum Nancy Kassebaum
(born 1932)
Kansas December 23, 1978 January 3, 1997 6,586 Election[n 2] Retired Republican
Sen. Hawkins Paula Hawkins
(1927–2009)
Florida January 1, 1981 January 3, 1987 2,193 Election[n 2] Lost reelection Republican
Sen. Mikulski Barbara Mikulski
(born 1936)
Maryland January 3, 1987 January 3, 2017 10,959 Election Retired Democratic
Sen. Burdick Jocelyn Burdick
(born 1922)
North Dakota September 16, 1992 December 14, 1992 89 Appointment Appointment ended Democratic
Sen. Feinstein Dianne Feinstein
(born 1933)
California November 10, 1992 present 9,777 Special election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Boxer Barbara Boxer
(born 1940)
California January 3, 1993 January 3, 2017 8,767 Election Retired Democratic
Sen. Moseley Braun Carol Moseley-Braun
(born 1947)
Illinois January 3, 1993 January 3, 1999 2,191 Election Lost reelection Democratic
Sen. Murray Patty Murray
(born 1950)
Washington January 3, 1993 present 9,723 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Hutchison Kay Hutchison
(born 1943)
Texas June 14, 1993 January 3, 2013 7,143 Special election Retired Republican
Sen. Snowe Olympia Snowe
(born 1947)
Maine January 3, 1995 January 3, 2013 6,576 Election Retired Republican
Sen. Frahm Sheila Frahm
(born 1945)
Kansas June 11, 1996 November 6, 1996 148 Appointment Lost nomination to finish term Republican
Sen. Collins Susan Collins
(born 1952)
Maine January 3, 1997 present 8,262 Election Incumbent Republican
Sen. Landrieu Mary Landrieu
(born 1955)
Louisiana January 3, 1997 January 3, 2015 6,575 Election Lost reelection Democratic
Sen. Lincoln Blanche Lincoln
(born 1960)
Arkansas January 3, 1999 January 3, 2011 4,383 Election Lost reelection Democratic
Sen. Cantwell Maria Cantwell
(born 1958)
Washington January 3, 2001 present 6,801 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Carnahan Jean Carnahan
(born 1933)
Missouri January 3, 2001 November 25, 2002 691 Appointment Lost election to finish term Democratic
Sen. Clinton Hillary Clinton
(born 1947)
New York January 3, 2001 January 21, 2009 2,940 Election Resigned to become United States Secretary of State Democratic
Sen. Stabenow Debbie Stabenow
(born 1950)
Michigan January 3, 2001 present 6,801 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Murkowski Lisa Murkowski
(born 1957)
Alaska December 20, 2002 present 6,085 Appointment Incumbent Republican
Sen. Dole Elizabeth Dole
(born 1936)
North Carolina January 3, 2003 January 3, 2009 2,192 Election Lost reelection[n 3] Republican
Sen. Klobuchar Amy Klobuchar
(born 1960)
Minnesota January 3, 2007 present 4,610 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. McCaskill Claire McCaskill
(born 1953)
Missouri January 3, 2007 present 4,610 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Shaheen Jeanne Shaheen
(born 1947)
New Hampshire January 3, 2009 present 3,879 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Hagan Kay Hagan
(born 1953)
North Carolina January 3, 2009 January 3, 2015 2,191 Election[n 3] Lost reelection Democratic
Sen. Gillibrand Kirsten Gillibrand
(born 1966)
New York January 26, 2009 present 3,856 Appointment Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Ayotte Kelly Ayotte
(born 1968)
New Hampshire January 3, 2011 January 3, 2017 2,192 Election Lost reelection Republican
Sen. Baldwin Tammy Baldwin
(born 1962)
Wisconsin January 3, 2013 present 2,418 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Fischer Deb Fischer
(born 1951)
Nebraska January 3, 2013 present 2,418 Election Incumbent Republican
Sen. Heitkamp Heidi Heitkamp
(born 1955)
North Dakota January 3, 2013 present 2,418 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Hirano Mazie Hirono
(born 1947)
Hawaii January 3, 2013 present 2,418 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Warren Elizabeth Warren
(born 1949)
Massachusetts January 3, 2013 present 2,418 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Ernst Joni Ernst
(born 1970)
Iowa January 3, 2015 present 1,688 Election Incumbent Republican
Sen. Moore Capito Shelley Moore Capito
(born 1953)
West Virginia January 3, 2015 present 1,688 Election Incumbent Republican
Sen. Cortez Masto Catherine Cortez Masto
(born 1964)
Nevada January 3, 2017 present 957 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Duckworth Tammy Duckworth
(born 1968)
Illinois January 3, 2017 present 957 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Harris Kamala Harris
(born 1964)
California January 3, 2017 present 957 Election Incumbent Democratic
Sen. Hassan Maggie Hassan
(born 1958)
New Hampshire January 3, 2017 present 957 Election Incumbent Democratic


References[change | change source]

  1. Abel resigned 3 days before the end of her term, a common practice to give her successor seniority advantage.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Predecessor resigned early to give successor seniority advantage, so the senator was appointed for the few days prior to the commencement of the elected term
  3. 3.0 3.1 When Kay Hagan defeated Elizabeth Dole, it was the first time in history a woman candidate defeated an incumbent woman.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • U.S. Senate History: Women in the Senate
  • "Women in the U.S. Senate 1922–2010" Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Steinhauer, Jennifer (March 21, 2013). "Once Few, Women Hold More Power in Senate". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  • "Women in the U.S. Senate 1922–2015" (PDF). Center for American Women and Politics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-03.