Sen. Giessel part of the 'women's wave' in leadership roles

    Alaska State Senate President Cathy Giessel.

    Washington, D.C. (AP) - Senate President Cathy Giessel was one of many women to ascend to leadership positions in state legislatures across the country in 2019.

    After a wave of women won election last year, numerous women ascended to leadership positions in state House and Senate chambers in 2019. But part of that influx was offset by the departure of female lawmakers who had been in leadership roles.

    The Associated Press tracked the top leadership positions for each party in each state legislative chamber. The top spots are called by different titles in different states, but in many places, they are referred to as the House speaker, Senate president and minority leaders in each chamber.

    Here’s a look at the women in those positions for 2019 and 2018.


    2019 new female legislative leaders

    1.Alaska Senate President Cathy Giessel, Republican

    2.Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, Republican

    3.Arizona House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez, Democrat

    4.California House Minority Leader Marie Waldron, Republican

    5.Colorado House Speaker KC Becker, Democrat

    6.Florida Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson, Democrat

    7.Maine House Minority Leader Kathleen Dillingham, Republican

    8.Michigan House Minority Leader Christine Greig, Democrat

    9.Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, Democrat

    10.New Hampshire Senate President Donna Soucy, Democrat

    11.Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, Democrat

    12.Oklahoma Senate Minority Leader Kay Floyd, Democrat

    13.Oklahoma House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, Democrat

    14.Tennessee House Minority Leader Karen Camper, Democrat

    15.Utah Senate Minority Leader Karen Mayne, Democrat

    16.Vermont House Minority Leader Pattie McCoy, Republican

    17.Virginia House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn, Democrat


    2019 female legislative leaders in new roles

    1. Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Democrat, previously minority leader

    2. New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Democrat, previously minority leader


    2019 female legislative leaders in same roles

    1.California Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Democrat

    2.California Senate Minority Leader Pat Bates, Republican

    3.Connecticut House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, Republican

    4.Idaho Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, Democrat

    5.Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, Republican

    6.Iowa Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen, Democrat

    7.Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, Republican

    8.Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, Democrat

    9.Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka, Democrat

    10.Missouri Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh, Democrat

    11.North Dakota Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman, Democrat

    12.Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, Democrat

    13.Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, Democrat

    14.Wisconsin Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, Democrat

    15.Wyoming House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly, Democrat


    2018 female legislative leaders no longer in roles

    1.Alaska House Minority Leader Charisse Millett, Republican, leadership position hasn’t been decided yet for 2019

    2.Alaska Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner, Democrat, did not seek re-election

    3.Arizona Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs, Democrat, won election as secretary of state

    4.Arizona House Minority Leader Rebecca Rios, Democrat, won election to state Senate

    5.Colorado House Speaker Christina Duran, Democrat, term-limited

    6.Florida House Minority Leader Janet Cruz, Democrat, won election to state Senate.

    7.Hawaii House Minority Leader Andria Tupola, Republican, ran unsuccessfully for governor

    8.Missouri House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, Democrat, term-limited

    9.Montana House Minority Leader Jenny Eck, Democrat, did not seek re-election

    10.Oregon Senate Minority Leader Jackie Winters, Republican, did not seek to continue in leadership post

    11.Rhode Island House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, Republican, lost primary election for governor and later removed by GOP caucus as leader after endorsing an independent gubernatorial candidate

    12.Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, Republican, lost primary election for governor

    13.Washington Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson, Democrat, did not seek re-election


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