Kelly Thompson Mitchell won two terms as the District 2 county commissioner, but there have been no female candidates from either party who have won one of the three seats since she left.
Even though Glendening and Cotner both sought state legislative seats from the area, no woman has ever represented Cass County in the Indiana House or Senate. Glendening made a brave run against former Indiana Hous e Speaker Pro Tem Nelson Becker in the 1980s. Glendening fared well against Becker, who lived just blocks from her. She had a limited budget and she refused to accept Political Action Committee funding. It was a tough race to win, and had she run in 2012, there probably would have been more funds from state Democrats to help her.
But the reality of the political atmosphere in Logansport and Cass County is that we lag behind the state and the nation in fielding and electing women in government offices. Indiana has never had a female governor, but its last three lieutenant governors have all been women. This area has never had a congresswoman, but Indiana currently has two – the most it has ever had. In the past 30 years, five women have represented Indiana in the House of Representatives.
The time will likely come when more women are on the ballot. To put Glendening’s own lifetime in perspective, it should be noted that she was born seven years after women first gained the right to vote in this country. She lived long enough to see women elected to virtually every level of government in the United States except the presidency. She saw two women become vice presidential nominees and one from her own party who ran an aggressive campaign for president in 2008 that even made a stop at Lincoln Middle School, the same place where Glendening’s own children attended.
The glass structure over our heads is a little bit higher than it used to be – call it a glass roof if you will. Don’t expect it to be there much longer.
Dave Kitchell is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached through the newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.