America’s first female mayor was elected 130 years ago when 27-year-old Susanna Madora Salter became the first woman in U. S. history to win election and serve one term as mayor in Argonia, Kansas, in 1887.
While many women have since served as municipal mayors, that reality has eluded the city of Lakeway.
Voters in the city of Lakeway selected their first mayor in 1974. This coming May 5 election, citizens of Lakeway will see history play out based on the single fact that all the mayoral candidates are women.
Sandy Cox, Jean Hennagin and Tiffany McMillan are the candidates running for Lakeway Mayor. Lakeway Mayor Joe Bain is not running again after being elected in 2015. Each candidate in the 2018 race acknowledged the importance of having women represented in government, but they agreed that fact shouldn’t be the main focus of their campaigns.
Sandy Cox, a Lakeway resident for 19 years, served as a Lakeway City Council member from 2014 to 2016. She filed to run for mayor of Lakeway on Jan. 17.
Cox said although she appreciates the fact that three women are running for mayor, it is not necessarily what makes this election historic.
“In the end, I don’t want to be seen as a leading female mayor,” Cox said. “I want to be seen as the mayor who led the city through this tumultuous time and made the best, most-informed decisions for the residents of Lakeway.”
Her campaign priorities, according to her website, include development, traffic, growth and civic engagement.
Jean Hennagin has been a Lakeway resident since 2008 and a City Council member since 2016. She filed for mayor of Lakeway on Feb. 16.
Hennagin said although it is historic that Lakeway will have its first female mayor, she hasn’t spent much time focusing on it.
“I think it’s more historic that Lakeway has a contested mayoral and council race overall,” said Hennagin. “If elected mayor, I hope people do not focus on the fact that I’m a female. I hope they will say that Lakeway has elected a mayor who will be inclusive, seek input from citizens and give everyone an opportunity to be involved with their government if they choose to.”
Her campaign priorities include development, deer population management and traffic, according to her website.
Tiffany McMillan, a Lakeway resident for the last 8 years and whose family has long ties to the city, filed for mayor of Lakeway on Jan. 22.
“This will be a very exciting and historic election for Lakeway,” said McMillan. “I think it’ll be good representation when we have our first female mayor. But more importantly than gender is the fact that if elected, I would be a new voice of the people for the community.”
McMillan previously ran unsuccessfully for one of two open City Council places in 2017. She said on her campaign page that it is time for change. Her priorities are to focus on traffic, growth and restoring trust at the city.