Center for Women and Politics of Ohio


Representative Marcy Kaptur, currently the longest serving woman in Congress, visited the BW campus in February, 2013 and met with students. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Krell

The Baldwin Wallace Center for Women and Politics of Ohio is a non-partisan center devoted to providing information about women who have run for public office in Ohio.

The purpose of our website is to serve as both an historical record and a source of data for scholars, students, and the general public who are interested in research on women and politics and Ohio history. Be sure to check out our Downloadable Data.

The Center was created in 2013 through a generous Summer Research Grant from Baldwin Wallace University. 

Media inquiries contact University Relations at (440) 826-2322.

Dr. Barb Palmer
, Associate Professor of Political Science

Professor Palmer is the founder and Executive Director of the Center. She is an expert on women running for Congress and the author of Women and Congressional Elections: A Century of Change.

Contact us at


Trailblazers in Ohio Politics

Mary Rose Okar

Mary Rose Oakar

She first ran for the US House in 1972 at the age of 36. Her parents were of Lebanese and Syrian ancestry, making her one of only a handful of Arab-Americans to ever serve in Congress.

Photo from the Collection of the US House of Representatives

Nettie McKensie Clapp

Nettie McKensie Clapp

Nettie was one of the four women first elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1922 and the first to represent Cuyahoga County. As a legislator, she was the first woman to sponsor a bill that would become a law.

Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library Photography Collection

Frances Payne Bolton

Frances Bolton

She was the first woman from Ohio to serve in Congress, first elected in a special election after the death of her husband in 1940. She was reelected 15 times.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress


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