DemDaily: Harris and The Women Who Have Run

August 13, 2020

Biden introduces Harris (CLICK)

Yesterday, future Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden formally introduced his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, with the two appearing together for the first time as the Democratic presidential ticket and future of our country.

Clad in masks, the two walked onto a Wilmington, Delaware stage together, accompanied by the Curtis Mayfield song "Move On Up," to launch their truly historic campaign.

As Harris took the podium as the first African American woman and first Asian American woman on the ticket of a major political party, she acknowledged the women who came before her.

"Joe, I'm so proud to stand with you. And I do so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination, and resilience makes my presence here today even possible."

Harris, 55, is now the third woman to serve as a vice presidential candidate for a major political party, following Geraldine Ferraro as the Democratic vice presidential pick in 1984, and Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential pick in 2008.

"This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities. But today -- today, just maybe, they're seeing themselves for the first time in a new way -- as the stuff of presidents and vice presidents."

There are many other women, however, who helped pave the way over the last 150 years to bring us to this point. For our readers, a history lesson in the women who have run for President and Vice President!

As compiled by Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics, our abbreviated version includes all parties and is based on those who achieved historic firsts, national recognition in office or on the ballot, received federal matching funds and/or other factors.

Women Presidential Candidates and Vice Presidential Candidates
(President candidates in blue, VP in bold black)

First candidate: Women's suffrage leader Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1872): Equal Rights Party. New York. Often cited as the first woman to run for President, although she was legally, at 33, too young. Opponents: Ulysses S. Grant (R) and Horace Greeley (D). Newspaper founder and first woman to own a Wall Street investment firm.

Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood (1884, 1888): Equal Rights Party. D.C. 1884 Opponents: Grover Cleveland (D) and James G. Blaine (R). 1888 Opponents: Grover Cleveland (D) and Benjamin Harrison (R). Attorney who drafted successful 1879 Congressional legislation which admitted women to practice before the US Supreme Court, then became the first woman lawyer to practice before the Court.

Marietta Stow (1884): Equal Rights Party. The first woman to run for vice president in the United States, she ran as the running mate to Belva Lockwood.

Lena Springs (1924): Democrat. The first woman to have her name placed into nomination for vice president at a major-party political convention. As credentials committee chair, received several votes.

Charlotta Spears Bass (1952): Progressive Party. The first Black woman nominee for vice president, received less than 1% of the popular vote in the 1952 presidential election.

Margaret Chase Smith (1964): Republican. Maine. The first woman to have her name placed in nomination for President by a major party, with 27 first ballot votes at the Convention. Elected to Congress in 1940 to fill her late husband's seat, serving four terms. Elected in 1948 to the US Senate and served four terms.

First Black Congresswoman and 1972 presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm (1972): Democrat. New York. The first African American woman to seek a major party's nomination for President. On the ballot in twelve primaries and received 151.95 delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention. The first African American woman to serve in Congress, from 1969 to 1983. Previously in the New York state legislature from 1964 to 1968. A champion of women's rights.

Patsy Mink (1972): Democrat, Hawaii. Ran as an anti-war candidate in the 1972 Oregon presidential primary, winning 2% of the vote. The first woman of color elected to Congress. serving from 1964 until her unsuccessful 1977 Senate bid. Elected again to Congress 1990-2002.

Frances "Sissy" Farenthold (1972): Democrat. Gloria Steinem put Farenthold's name into nomination as VP at the 1972 Convention. The former Texas state legislator finished second in the balloting with 400 votes.

Toni Nathan (1972): Libertarian. The first woman to receive an electoral vote (just one), when a Virginia Republican elector voted for President Nixon, but declined to vote for Vice President Spiro T. Agnew.

Next Tuesday, August 18th, will mark the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote. Check the DemList Convention Calendar for related celebrations and events!

Ellen McCormack (1976, 1980): Democrat, Right to Life Party. New York. Ran for 1976 Democratic nomination as an anti-abortion candidate, and in 1980 from the Right to Life Party, winning 32,000 votes.

LaDonna Harris (1980): Citizens Party. A social activist and member of the Comanche Tribe, she was the first Native American nominee for vice president, running on the ticket with Barry Commoner in 1980.

First Major Party Woman VP Geraldine Ferararo

Sonia Johnson (1984): Citizens Party, won 70,000+ votes. Feminist activist and writer.

Emma Wong Mar (1984): Peace and Freedom Party. The first Asian American woman nominee for vice president in the United States, and running mate to Sonia Johnson.

Geraldine Ferraro (1984): Democrat. New York. Ferraro was the first woman vice presidential nominee of a major US party, running with Walter Mondale on the ticket, which received 13 electoral votes. Attorney and Member of Congress from 1979 to 1985, and later as Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1993 until 1996 in the Clinton administration.

Patricia Schroeder (1988): Democrat. Colorado. Brief run for president in 1988 before dropping out before the primaries. Attorney, first elected to Congress in 1972 and served 24 years.

Lenora Fulani (1988, 1992): New Alliance Party. New York. She became the first woman and the first African American to achieve ballot access in all fifty states.

Winona LaDuke (1996, 2000): Green Party. The VP running mate of Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in both 1996 and 2000. With Nader, she received 2.7% of the popular vote in 2000.

Pres Candidate Carol Moseley Braun in 2003 (Steve Matteo/AP)

Elizabeth Hanford Dole (2000): Republican. North Carolina. Ran for the 2000 presidential nomination, but dropped out before the primaries. Attorney, served in the Nixon, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush administrations, and in the US Senate from 2003 to 2009.

Carol Moseley Braun (2004): Democrat. Illinois. Sought the 2004 presidential nomination, but dropped out prior to the Iowa caucuses. Attorney and first African American woman to serve in the US Senate, from 1992-1998. US Ambassador to New Zealand in the Clinton administration.

Jill Stein (2008, 2016): Green Party. Massachusetts. The Green Party nominee in 2012, receiving 0.36% of vote, and in 2016, garnering 1.1% in the general election. Attorney and practicing physician.

Sarah Palin (2008): Republican. Alaska. The second woman vice presidential nominee from a major US party, and the first GOP VP woman nominee, she ran with GOP presidential nominee Senator John McCain in 2008. They won 173 electoral votes.

Michele Bachmann (2012): Republican. Minnesota. Ran for the 2012 nomination for president but withdrew after the Iowa caucuses.  Attorney, US Congresswoman Bachmann from 2007-2015, Tea Party founder.

Hillary Rodham Clinton (2008, 2016): Democrat. New York. Attorney, pubic advocate, author and trailblazer. First Lady of the United States from 1993-2001 and elected US Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009.

Hillary Clinton_ the First Majority Party Female Presidential Candidate (AP)

A candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008, Clinton lost to Senator Barack Obama, who then appointed her US Secretary of State, a position she held from 2009-2013. In July of 2016 Clinton became the first woman to be a major party's nominee for President. Despite winning the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, she lost the Electoral College and the election, to Donald Trump.

Carly Fiorina (2016): Republican. California. Ran for the 2016 GOP nomination but withdrew after the New Hampshire primary. A former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and unsuccessful 2010 nominee for US Senate.

The 2020 presidential primary election included an historic field of women candidates including, for the Democratic Nomination: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI), US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), US Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN), US Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), Author Marianne Williamson (CA) and US Senator Kamala Harris (CA).

DemList will keep you informed.

Connecting you to The Party
Connecting you to Each Other

Kimberly Scott

Go to the DemList Convention Calendar for all updates and events surround the August 17th-20 convention! Submit your allied events for free promotion.

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Sources: Center for American Women and Politics,, Wiki

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