Celebrating the history of women in Kentucky politics

Only 26 states have elected a female governor. Kentucky is one of them. 

There is no discussion of women's history in this state without the mention of Governor Martha Layne Collins.

Elected in 1983, Governor Collins was only the seventh women in history to serve as Governor of her state and she served us well.

I was honored to meet Governor Collins last weekend when she was recognized at Women Turning Kentucky Blue: Celebrating 5 Years of Emerge Kentucky.

Emerge Kentucky is the premiere political training program for Democratic women considering public office. The evening was a celebration of not only the women considering a run but the ones who have already taken the leap. 

We celebrated Governor Collins for paving the way for so many. We celebrated Alison Lundergran Grimes, whom we hope to be the first female Senator from Kentucky. We celebrated Sannie Overly, the first female in Kentucky history elected to party leadership.

However, we all know the victories we celebrate as women in Kentucky politics are too few. 

Kentucky still ranks 47th out of 50 states in female political representation. While the numbers of female state Supreme Court justices have increased in recent years along with representation in our state legislative bodies, women are over half the population in this state and we deserve to see faces like ours at the table.

Governor Collins is a pioneer but as Representative Overly so eloquently said Saturday night, "I look forward to the day when the novelty of a woman in an elected position is no more."

Secretary of State Alison Lundergran Grimes, Attorney Jennifer Moore, Governor Martha Layne Collins, Representative Sannie Overly, and The Honorable Crit Luallen

~ Sarah Stewart Holland