WASHINGTON January 3 (RIA Novosti) Maybe there’s something in the water in New Hampshire.
When the incoming members of the 113th United States Congress are sworn into office on Thursday, the tiny, northeast state of New Hampshire will become the first state in US history with an all-female delegation in Washington.
Not only that but the state already has two US senators who are women, Senators Jeanne Shaheen – who was the first female governor elected in New Hampshire – and Kelly Ayotte, who was the former attorney general.
"Pink is the new power color in New Hampshire," said Ann McLane Kuster, one of the newly elected representatives.
She joins another woman, Carol Shea-Porter, a former member of Congress who lost her bid for re-election in 2010 and won the seat back in November.
Another woman, Maggie Hassan, is the newly elected governor, after a stint as the majority leader of the state Senate. She will be the nation’s only female, Democratic governor in 2013
"Never underestimate the power of a woman with a minivan and a cellphone," Hassan said, according to The Associated Press.
All five women – four Democrats and Ayotte, who is Republican – have some other things in common. They are all mothers. And they’ve all held elected office before.
Two possible reasons for their success in New Hampshire are the size of the state legislature – with 424 members, it’s big, the largest in the nation – and the size of the state – it’s small, so there are fewer people running for more offices.
And, the legislature pays next to nothing – just $100 a year, much less than most other states including Michigan and California, which pay $71,000 and $95,000 respectively.
“There are lots of opportunities for women to pitch in, prove their competence and learn a lot about governing and the political process,” Hassan said, according to the New York Times. “We’ve had a very deep bench of women.”
The new Congress will have 20 female senators, the most in US history, and a record 81 women in the House of Representatives.
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