27 Minn. cities where you can vote for women all the way down the ballot

Signs point to a polling place in St. Paul.
Signs point to a polling place in St. Paul.
Regina McCombs | MPR News 2015

The historic nature of this election has been noted on many occasions, but it bears repeating: 2016 marks the first time a woman has received a major party's nomination for president.

While Hillary Clinton smashes the glass ceiling for presidential candidacy, there are many political offices around Minnesota that have never been held by a woman. The state has never had a woman serve as governor, and there has only been one major party candidate on the November ballot — Hannah Nicollet, who ran for the Independence Party in 2014.

When it comes to national representation, Sen. Amy Klobuchar became Minnesota's first woman elected to the Senate in 2006. That's 74 years after Hattie Caraway became the first woman from any state to be elected to the Senate; Caraway represented Arkansas.

(Note: Muriel Humphrey was appointed to complete her husband's Senate term after Sen. Humphrey died in 1978. She served for 10 months.)

There have been only three women who have represented Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives: Coya Knutson (1955-59), Betty McCollum (2001-present) and Michele Bachmann (2007-2015). Today, the state has only one woman in the U.S. House, but that could change: Angie Craig is running to replace Rep. John Kline in the 2nd District and state Sen. Terri Bonoff is running against Rep. Erik Paulsen in the 3rd.

On the state level, here's the percentage of women serving in major elected offices as of 2015:

• 34 percent of state senators
• 32 percent of state representatives
• 27 percent of city council members
• 16 percent of mayors
• 14 percent of county commissioners

These numbers have basically plateaued and haven't changed much over the last 20 years, according to Debra Fitzpatrick, director of the Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. It's not that women are running and not winning. In fact, a University of Minnesota study found that women candidates win at the same rate or higher than men candidates. The problem is there are fewer of them running.

"When women run in Minnesota, women win," the 2009 study said. "But the number of women legislative candidates is too low to ensure great progress in women's representation."

Despite this, there are some Minnesota cities this year where voters can vote for women from the top of the ticket to the bottom — president, U.S. representatives, state senators, state representatives, mayor and city council. Here's the map.

Purple rings represent cities where there are municipal (mayor and/or city council) elections. Purple circles represent cities where there are no municipal races.

Correction (Nov. 3, 2016): An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the chamber in which Muriel Humphrey served.

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