Women in Elected Office

In Utah

  • One Utah woman currently serves in Congress (fourth in Utah history).
  • In 2017, 21 women (15 House, 6 Senate) serve in Utah’s 104-member Legislature (20.2%).
    • This is an increase from 16 women (15.4%) in 2016, and all 5 of the seats gained were in the House.
    • Utah’s historic high was in 2002, when 24 women served in the Legislature (23.1%).
    • In 2017, Utah ranks 38th among state legislatures for percentage of women (up from 45th in 2016).
  • 6 women (2 House, 4 Senate) hold State Legislative Leadership positions in Utah.
  • No Utah women are currently elected to statewide office.
  • Utah women have been elected as mayors and as members of city and county councils and commissions and school boards throughout the state. See The Status of Women in Utah Politics: A 2017 Update at uvu.edu/uwlp for details.
  • Utah women register to vote—and vote—in higher numbers than men, but at lower rates than the national average. See The Well-Being of Women in Utah: An Overview at ywcautah.org for more information.

In U.S.

  • The Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers (http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/) reports that 104 women hold seats in the 115thS. Congress (19.4%).
  • 21 women (16D, 5R) serve in the U.S. Senate. 83 women (62D, 21R) serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • In 2017, 74 women hold statewide elective offices across the country (23.7%).
  • The number of female governors serving dropped from six in 2016 (3D, 3R) to five in 2017 (2D, 3R). 13 women serve as Lt. Governors.
  • In 2017, 1,842 or 24.9%, of state legislators in the United States are women. CAWP reports that since 1971, the number of women serving in state legislatures has more than quintupled.
  • Statistics show that women running for office win elections at the same rate as men, but nationwide fewer women choose to take the initial step to run for office.
  • Women vote in higher numbers than men and have done so in every presidential election since 1964.

Women in Utah Election History

  • Utah territory gave women right to vote in 1870; renounced when Utah became a state in 1896; Utah wrote women’s suffrage into its state constitution, 24 years before federal right to vote in 1920
  • Martha Hughes Cannon (D), first state senator in the U.S. (1897-1901)
  • Reva Beck Bosone (D), first Utah woman elected to U. S. House of Representatives (1949-53)
  • Karen Shepherd (D), second Utah woman elected to U. S. House of Representatives (1993-95)
  • Jan Graham (D), first female Utah Attorney General (1993-2001)
  • Enid Greene Mickelson (R), third Utah woman elected to U. S. House of Representatives (1995-97)
  • Olene S. Walker (R), first female Lieutenant Governor in Utah (1993-2003), then first female Governor (2003-05)
  • Deedee Corradini, first (and only) woman to serve as Mayor of Salt Lake City (1992-2000)
  • Becky Lockhart (R), first woman to serve as Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives (2010-14)
  • Jennifer Seelig (D), first woman to serve as Minority Leader in the Utah House (2013-14)
  • Mia Love (R), fourth Utah woman elected to U.S. House of Representatives (2015 – )

Utah Women’s Well-Being

Institute for Women’s Policy Research: Utah Women’s Well-Being – Research Briefing

SB54

Office of the Lieutenant Governor: Senate Bill 54 (2014): Frequently Asked Questions

KCPW Podcast: Navigating Utah’s New Election System – A panel discussion sponsored by Real Women Run

YWCA Utah’s Press Release: Real Women Run Offers a Closer Look at SB54 Utah’s Election Laws Changed: A Free Training about New ‘Two Ways to the Ballot’ SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Real Women Run will present a free training on Senate Bill 54

Additional Resources for Seeking Elected Office

Barbara Lee Family Foundation

Constitution Party

Democratic Women’s Club

Green Party

Hinckley Institute of Politics

Hispanic Women’s Association

Latinas Represent

Launch Progress

League of Women Voters of Utah

Libertarian Party

National Women’s Political Caucus

New Organizing Institute

Political Parity

Professional Republican Women

Representation 2020

Running Start

Rutgers Center for Women in American Politics

She Should Run

springBoard Utah

Utah Democratic Party

Utah Democratic Party Women’s Caucus

Utah Federation of Republican Women

Utah Lieutenant Governors Elections Office

Utah Republican Party

Utah Women and Leadership Project

Victory Fund

Vision 20/20

Women’s Campaign School of Yale

Women and Politics Institute

Women’s Leadership Institute

Women’s Republican Club of Utah