1984 Women from all across the country converged on the Vermont State House in 1985 to see with their own eyes the inauguration of a woman as governor of a state. Madeleine Kunin's narrow win in the 1984 gubernatorial election cleared another hurdle for women.
Edna Beard had cleared the first hurdle in 1920 when she won election to the state House and then in 1922 when she moved to the state Senate.
In the 1950s, Consuelo Northrup Bailey became the first woman to be speaker of the Vermont House and the first to be elected lieutenant governor. But Bailey declined to run for governor, feeling the time was yet not right for a woman to hold the post.
Kunin, a Democrat, who served as a member of the state House and then as lieutenant governor, first ran for governor in 1982, losing to the incumbent, Richard Snelling. When Snelling stepped down in 1984, Kunin ran again and narrowly defeated then-Attorney General John Easton.
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