Nevada Is The First US State With A Female-Majority Legislature
Nevada is officially the first U.S. state to have a female-majority legislature. While women have held the majority in one body of a state government, they haven’t held the majority for overall lawmakers in a state.
Democrats Beatrice Duran and Rochelle Nguyen of Las Vegas were appointed to the Nevada Assembly late Tuesday to fill vacancies. The appointments mean that women have 23 of the 42 available seats for the term beginning February 4. They already held nine of the 21 seats in the Senate. Now, women will represent 51 percent of the state’s 61 lawmakers.
Rutgers University political science professor Kelly Dittmar told Reuters, “We’re moving in the right direction in terms of women’s political progress and their representation within all of our political institutions, including our legislatures.”
Despite the breakthrough in one state, Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics noted that only 28.6 percent of 7,383 seats in state legislatures will be held by women next year.
Reuters also notes that, while a record number of women will be in the House of Representatives next year, there is still progress to be made. Of the 237 women who ran for a House seat in 2018, a record 102 won. The previous record was 86.
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to share her congratulations for the women of Nevada. She wrote, “Let’s make it the first of many.”
Two other states in history have had a majority in one legislative chamber. In New Hampshire, the Senate had a female majority in 2009-2010. Colorado’s House currently has more women than men.
Along with its female-led legislature, Nevada is also one of six states to have two women U.S. senators next year.