Milestones for Women in New Jersey Politics

 

 

Timeline

1921

1921

Margaret Laird (R) and Jennie Van Ness (R) became the first two women elected to the New Jersey Assembly.

1925

1925

Rebecca Estell Bourgeois Winston (D) of Estell Manor became the first woman to serve as mayor in New Jersey. 

Mary Teresa Norton

Mary Teresa Norton (D) became the first woman to represent New Jersey in Congress, serving in the US House of Representatives from 1925 to 1951. To date, no woman has represented New Jersey in the US Senate. 

1957

1957

Madaline A. (Worthy) Williams (D) became the first Black woman elected to the New Jersey Assembly. 

1965

1965

Marion West Higgins (R) became the first woman speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, and was the third woman in the nation to be the speaker of a state house.  

Mildred Barry Hughes (D) became the first woman elected to the New Jersey Senate. 

1968

1968

Wynona Lipman (D-Essex County) became the first Black woman elected to a county freeholder board in New Jersey. 

1972

1972

Wynona Lipman (D) became the first Black woman to serve in the New Jersey Senate. 

1977

1977

Ruth Carpenter

Ruth Carpenter (R) of Hunterdon County became the first woman elected sheriff in New Jersey. 

1981

1981

Jane Burgio (R) became the first woman appointed secretary of state in New Jersey. 

1982

1982

Marie Garibaldi became the first woman to serve on New Jersey's Supreme Court.
1983

1983

Nidia Davila-Colon (D-Hudson County) became the first Latina elected to a county freeholder board. 

1994

1994

Deborah Poritz became New Jersey’s first female attorney general.

Christine Todd Whitman (R) became the first woman (and only woman to date) to serve as New Jersey’s governor. 

1995

1995

Nilsa Cruz Perez

Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D) became the first Latina to serve in the New Jersey Assembly. 

1996

1996

Deborah Poritz became the first woman to serve as chief justice on the New Jersey State Supreme Court. 

2008

2008

M. Teresa Ruiz (D) became the first Latina to serve in the New Jersey Senate. 

2010

2010

Kim Guadagno

Kim Guadagno (R) took office as New Jersey’s first lieutenant governor. 

Barbara Buono

Barbara Buono (D) became the first woman to be elected majority leader of the New Jersey State Senate.

2011

2011

Mildred Scott

Mildred Scott (D-Middlesex County) became the first Black woman elected county sheriff in New Jersey, as well as the first woman elected sheriff in Middlesex County. 

Sheila Oliver

Sheila Y. Oliver (D) became the first woman of color (and second woman) to serve as speaker of the New Jersey Assembly. She was the second Black women in the nation to serve as speaker of a lower house. 

2015

2015

Bonnie Watson Coleman (D) became the first Black woman and the first woman of color to represent New Jersey in Congress. 

2016

2016

Susan Shin-Angulo (D-Camden County) became the first Asian American woman elected to a county freeholder board in New Jersey.