Women in the Senate

United States Capitol Building
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Women have served as United States Senators since the first in 1922, who served briefly after an appointment, and 1931, with the first election of a female Senator. Women Senators are still a minority in the Senate, though their proportion has generally increased over the years. 

For those who took office before 1997, more details are provided about how they were selected for their Senate seat.

Women in the Senate, listed in order of their first election:

Name: Party, State, Years served

  1. Rebecca Latimer Felton: Democrat, Georgia, 1922 (a courtesy appointment)
  2. Hattie Wyatt Caraway: Democrat, Arkansas, 1931 to 1945 (first woman elected to a full term)
  3. Rose McConnell Long: Democrat, Louisiana, 1936 to 1937 (appointed to the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, Huey P. Long, then won a special election and served not quite a year; she did not run for election to a full term)
  4. Dixie Bibb Graves: Democrat, Alabama, 1937 to 1938 (appointed by her husband, Governor Bibb Graves, to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Hugo G. Black; she resigned less than 5 months later and did not run as a candidate in the election to fill the vacancy)
  5. Gladys Pyle: Republican, South Dakota, 1938 to 1939 (elected to fill the vacancy and served less than 2 months; was not a candidate for election to a full term)
  6. Vera Cahalan Bushfield: Republican, South Dakota, 1948 (appointed to fill vacancy left by the death of her husband; she served less than three months)
  7. Margaret Chase Smith: Republican, Maine, 1949 to 1973 (won a special election to win a seat in the House of Representatives to fill the vacancy left by the death of her husband in 1940; was reelected four times before being elected to the Senate in 1948; she was reelected in 1954, 1960 and 1966 and was defeated in 1972; she was the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress)
  8. Eva Kelley Bowring: Republican, Nebraska, 1954 (appointed to fill vacancy caused by the death of Senator Dwight Palmer Griswold; she served just under 7 months and did not run in the subsequent election)
  9. Hazel Hempel Abel: Republican, Nebraska, 1954 (elected to serve the term left by the death of Dwight Palmer Griswold; she served almost two months after the resignation of Eva Bowring, as noted above; Abel also did not run in the subsequent election)
  10. Maurine Brown Neuberger: Democrat, Oregon, 1960 to 1967 (won a special election to fill the vacancy left when her husband, Richard L. Neuberger, died; she was elected for a full term in 1960 but did not run for another full term)
  11. Elaine Schwartzenburg Edwards: Democrat, Louisiana, 1972 (appointed by Gov. Edwin Edwards, her husband, to serve to fill the vacancy left by Senator Allen Ellender's death; she resigned about three months after her appointment)
  12. Muriel Humphrey: Democrat, Minnesota, 1978 (appointed to fill the vacancy left by the death of her husband, Hubert Humphrey; she served just over 9 months and was not a candidate in the election to fill the reset of her husband's term)
  13. Maryon Allen: Democrat, Alabama, 1978 (appointed to fill the vacancy left by the death of her husband, James Allen; she served for five months and failed to win the nomination for the election to fill the rest of her husband's term)
  14. Nancy Landon Kassebaum: Republican, Kansas, 1978 to 1997 (elected to a six-year term in 1978, and was reelected in 1984 and 1990; did not run for reelection in 1996)
  15. Paula Hawkins: Republican, Florida, 1981 to 1987 (elected in 1980, and failed to win reelection in 1986)
  16. Barbara Mikulski: Democrat, Maryland, 1987 to 2017 (failed to win election to the Senate in 1974, was elected five times to the House of Representatives, then was elected to the Senate in 1986, and continued to run each six-year term until her decision not to run in the 2016 election)
  17. Jocelyn Burdick: Democrat, North Dakota, 1992 to 1992 (appointed to fill the vacancy left by the death of her husband, Quentin Northrop Burdick; after serving three months, she did not run in the special election nor in the next regular election)
  18. Dianne Feinstein: Democrat, California, 1993 to present (failed to win election as California's governor in 1990, Feinstein ran for the Senate to fill Pete Wilson's seat, then continued to win reelection)
  19. Barbara Boxer: Democrat, California, 1993 to 2017(was elected five times to the House of Representatives, then was elected to the Senate in 1992 and was re-elected each year, serving until her retirement date of January 3, 2017)
  20. Carol Moseley: Braun: Democrat, Illinois, 1993 to 1999 (elected in 1992, failed reelection in 1998, and failed in a presidential nomination bid in 2004)
  21. Patty Murray: Democrat, Washington, 1993 to present (elected in 1992 and was reelected in 1998, 2004 and 2010)
  22. Kay Bailey Hutchison: Republican, Texas, 1993 to 2013 (elected in a special election in 1993, then reelected in 1994, 2000, and 2006 before retiring rather than run for reelection in 2012)
  23. Olympia Jean Snowe: Republican, Maine, 1995 to 2013 (elected eight times to the House of Representatives, then as a Senator in 1994, 2000, and 2006, retiring in 2013)
  24. Sheila Frahm: Republican, Kansas, 1996 (first appointed the seat vacated by Robert Dole; served almost 5 months, stepping aside for someone elected in the special election; failed to be elected to the remaining term of the office)
  25. Mary Landrieu: Democrat, Louisiana, 1997 to 2015
  26. Susan Collins: Republican, Maine, 1997 to present
  27. Blanche Lincoln: Democrat, Arkansas, 1999 to 2011
  28. Debbie Stabenow: Democrat, Michigan, 2001 to present
  29. Jean Carnahan: Democrat, Missouri, 2001 to 2002
  30. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Democrat, New York, 2001 to 2009
  31. Maria Cantwell: Democrat, Washington, 2001 to present
  32. Lisa Murkowski: Republican, Alaska, 2002 to present
  33. Elizabeth Dole: Republican, North Carolina, 2003 to 2009
  34. Amy Klobuchar: Democrat, Minnesota, 2007 to present
  35. Claire McCaskill: Democrat, Missouri, 2007 to present
  36. Kay Hagan: Democrat, North Carolina, 2009 to 2015
  37. Jeanne Shaheen: Democrat, New Hampshire, 2009 to present
  38. Kirsten Gillibrand: Democrat, New York, 2009 to present
  39. Kelly Ayotte: Republican, New Hampshire, 2011 to 2017 (lost reelection)
  40. Tammy Baldwin: Democrat, Wisconsin, 2013 to present
  41. Deb Fischer: Republican, Nebraska, 2013 to present
  42. Heidi Heitkamp: Democrat, North Dakota, 2013 to present
  43. Mazie Hirono: Democrat, Hawaii, 2013 to present
  44. Elizabeth Warren: Democrat, Massachusetts, 2013 to present
  45. Shelley Moore Capito: Republican, West Virginia, 2015 to present
  46. Joni Ernst: Republican, Iowa, 2015 to present
  47. Catherine Cortez Masto: Democrat, Nevada, 2017 to present
  48. Tammy Duckworth: Democrat, Illinois, 2017 to present
  49. Kamala Harris: California, Democrat, 2017 to present
  50. Maggie Hassan: New Hampshire, Democrat, 2017 to present
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Your Citation
Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Women in the Senate." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/women-in-the-senate-3530378. Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2021, February 16). Women in the Senate. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/women-in-the-senate-3530378 Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Women in the Senate." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/women-in-the-senate-3530378 (accessed June 3, 2023).