It was clear this week that New Hampshire’s presidential electors were imagining quite a different outcome to the November election. When they met at the State House in Concord to formally cast the state’s four electoral votes, the event included several nods to pioneering women — glass-ceiling breakers who were eager for the presidency of failed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
For starters, the state’s four electors were all women — a first. And each of them had been the first woman to do ... something. Terie Norelli was the first Democratic woman to be speaker of the New Hampshire House. Bev Hollingworth was the first Democratic woman to lead the state Senate. Carol Shea-Porter was the first woman sent to the US House from New Hampshire. Dudley Dudley was the first woman to serve on the state’s Executive Council.
Before they voted — four ballots for Clinton — the electors decried the sexism they said permeated the presidential race. “We know all too well that sexism is alive and well; if we listened, we heard it during the campaign every day,” Norelli said, her voice a combination of sad and bitter. “[Clinton’s] voice was too loud, she was too ambitious, se was too emotional, she was not emotional enough.”
The day also included a celebration of Dudley, whose new State House portrait was unveiled to applause. She’ll be one of the rare women with a portrait in the building, but not the only Dudley. Her ancestor, Joseph Dudley, was a royal governor in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. His own portrait — including a long and extravagant wig — hangs in the Executive Council chamber.
Felice Belman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.