The Norman Transcript

Headlines

November 23, 2012

Women rare commodity in Okla. Legislature

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma has a female governor and was the first in the nation to elect a woman to statewide political office, but when it comes to electing women to the Legislature, the state ranks among the worst in the nation.

Only 12.8 percent of Oklahoma’s 149 state lawmakers are women, ranking the state 48th in the nation based on membership before the 2012 elections, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. Oklahoma’s ranking is unlikely to move as a result of this year’s elections, since there were no net gains for women in the Legislature, which now has four women in the 48-member Senate and 15 females in the 101-member House.

“Obviously, given Mary Fallin is governor, it’s not that voters won’t elect a woman to office,” said Sara Jane Rose, the president and founder of Sally’s List, an organization dedicated to electing progressive women to office in Oklahoma. “It’s just that women haven’t been running.

“If you sit at the right angle in the Senate gallery, you can’t even see any women on the floor. I have no aspirations to run for office, but if I did, I would feel a bit overwhelmed by the lack of women down there.”

Oklahoma was assured its first female governor in 2010 after Fallin won the Republican nomination for governor and former Lt. Gov. Jari Askins secured the Democratic nod. Oklahoma has three other female statewide elected officials, all Republicans: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi and Corporation Commissioners Dana Murphy and Patrice Douglas.

Oklahoma also has a history of electing women to major posts. In 1907 — before women could even vote — Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to elect a woman to statewide office when Kate Barnard was picked for Charities and Corrections commissioner. And in 1920, Oklahoma Republican Alice Mary Roberts became just the second woman in the country elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Also, former Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller was the first female chief of the Oklahoma-based tribe, a position she held from 1985 to 1995.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Immigrant children being placed with sponsors

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal government says more than 200 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma have been placed with sponsors so far this year. The federal government released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday of the numbers of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • OCU prepares to move law library downtown

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University’s School of Law is moving its library into a historic building in downtown Oklahoma City....

    July 25, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014