Evelyn Gandy was the first female elected to statewide office in Mississippi, serving as Treasurer. Today that office is held by Lynn Fitch. Fitch is currently the only female holding a statewide office in the Magnolia State.
Mississippi is one of just two states to never elect a female congressman, senator, or governor. A new initiative is underway to recruit more women to run for political office.
Called Ready To Run, the goal is to provide women with the skills, knowledge, and encouragement to get involved in the political process.
The series of day long educational sessions is aimed at women like Greta Kemp, a 30 year old attorney from Jackson who is considering a run for the state legislature.
“I was born and raised and got my education in Mississippi. I feel like I have an aptitude for public service. And I feel like its time that women have a greater voice in state politics,” Kemp said.
Roughly 15-percent of the Mississippi House and Senate are women, even though the state is more than half female.
The program is sponsored by the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women.