January 18, 2019 Blog

Meet the Democratic Women Serving in the Kentucky General Assembly

More women are serving in the 116th U.S. Congress and the 2019 Kentucky Legislature than ever before; of the 31 female state legislators elected to the serve the commonwealth, 20 are Democrats.

This path of success for women in Kentucky started with Mary Elliott Flanery, American progressive era social reformer, suffragist, politician, and journalist, but most notably, the first woman elected to the State Legislature in 1921. Forty years later, Amelia Tucker, a minister and civil rights leader, became the first African-American woman elected to serve the State General Assembly; and in 2016, Louisville Representative Attica Scott became the first African-American female to have a voice on the House Floor after nearly two decades.

“I am deeply honored that the good people in District 41 sent me back to Frankfort unopposed,” said Representative Scott, who was elected again in 2018. “It’s that kind of generosity that allowed me to go door-to-door for candidates like Representative Kulkarni who is now the first Indian immigrant to serve in our statehouse. Rep. Kulkarni’s election is important to me because representation matters and she belongs in Frankfort.”

These trailblazers in politics helped set the stage for a young mother named Josie Raymond, recently elected to serve the 31st district as a Democratic Representative in the State House.

“It was the unique story of each of these women that inspired me and provided the much-needed fortitude to run in a system that often works against young mothers,” said Raymond. “I hope that through their stories, others will be inspired so that in the future we will be applauding 51 women in the legislative body with diverse backgrounds.”

Raymond said the record 27 women elected to the State House is something to truly celebrate, “But just for a minute. We can do better,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to championing Pre-K for All this term, legislation that will help advance families by getting women back into the workforce while preparing kids for the classroom. This is legislation to benefit entire communities,” Raymond said.

Being able to shape their communities is just one way these Democratic women hope to equal the playing field, which Raymond hopes will allow more women to have the opportunities to actually break into politics. Strengthening families through higher wages, expanded access to healthcare and educational opportunities including pre-K for all and affordable college are just a few avenues to help lift up women who want to serve.

Representative Patti Minter, a Democrat elected in House District 20, is the first woman to ever represent Bowling Green.

“Before I won in November, I was the first woman in my district nominated by either party in a competitive primary for state office. Some of the moments along the campaign trail that inspired me the most were talking with young women, including students of mine, who saw me as a role model and someone who is willing to fight for what she believes in,” said Minter.

Minter said she is honored to be part of a new wave of strong, progressive women in Frankfort, “who are ready to not only change our policies, but also transform our politics by listening to people, putting our communities above special interests, and making sure all Kentuckians have a voice in their democracy.”

On the heels of the 3rd Annual Women’s March, the Kentucky Democratic Party is proud to support each of the strong women elected to serve the Commonwealth.

“There is nothing more powerful and nurturing than the strong embrace of a powerful community of women lifting you up to advance the cause of equality. It has made all the difference,” said Maria Sorolis, Democratic Representative for the 48th district.