Women Candidates for President of the United States

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Hillary Clinton, in 2016, became the first female presidential nominee of one of America's two major political parties. She was not, however, the first woman to run for President of the United States.

Victoria Woodhull in 1872 was the first known woman to declare herself a candidate for President .

Woodhull did not run as a Democrat or a Republican. She did run as the standard-bearer of the Equal Rights Party, and her running mate was noted (and African-American) abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Woodhull received no votes for her candidacy. As well, she was not 35 and so would have been ineligible to serve even if she were elected. Even more significantly, she couldn't vote for herself because the 19th Amendment, granting women's suffrage, wasn't ratified until 1920.

Another similar political party, National Equal Rights Party, sponsored a female presidential candidate, in both 1884 and 1888. That candidate was lawyer and activist Belva Lockwood (right). Lockwood's running mates were Marietta Stow and Charles Wells, respectively. Lockwood ran a national campaign. One source stated that she received more than 4,000 votes in 1884; no records of votes for in 1888 have been found.

It was quite awhile before another woman ran for President. In 1964, Margaret Chase Smith (left) became the first woman to seek the nomination of a major political party. In that case, it was the Republican Party.

The next known female candidate was Charlene Mitchell, who ran for the Communist Party of America in 1968.

Mitchell was the first known African-American woman to run for President. In 1972, Shirley Chisholm (right) became the first African-American woman to run for a major political party's nomination. She ran a sophisticated, well-covered campaign and received the support of 152 delegates at the national convention. Chisholm was also the first woman to run for nomination of the Democratic Party.

In the same year, Patsy Mink (left) ran for the Democratic nomination, becoming the first known Asian-American woman to run for a major party. And Congresswoman Bella Abzug also ran, on the Democratic ticket. Also that year, Linda Jenness represented the Socialist Workers Party on the presidential ballot.

In the next election, Ellen McCormack ran on the Democratic ticket and Margaret Wright ran on the People's Party ticket.

The 1980 election featured three female presidential candidates: Deirdre Griswold of the Workers World Party, Maureen Smith of the Peace and Freedom Party, and McCormack, running again, this time on the Right to Life Party. Three female candidates ran in 1984: Gavrielle Holmes of the Workers World Party, Sonia Johnson of the Citizens Party, and Isabelle Masters of the Looking Back Party. (Masters ran again in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004.) And in 1988, another two women ran: Lenora Fulani, for the New Alliance Party, and Willa Kenoyer, of the Socialist Party of America.

Fulani ran again in 1992, again for New Alliance. Threeo other women ran that year: Helen Halyard for the Worker's League Party, Millie Howard for the Republican Party, and Gloria La Riva for the Workers World Party. (Howard ran again in 1996, 2000 (Independent), 2004, and 2008.)

Ten women ran as well in 1996: Republicans Georgina Doerschuck, Susan Ducey, and Ann Jennings; Democrats Heather Harder and Levena Lloyd-Duffie; Marsha Feinland, for the Peace and Freedom Party, Mary Cal Hollis, for the Socialist Party of America, Joanne Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party, Mona Moorehead, for the Workers World Party, and Diane Templin of the American Party.

Moorehead also ran in 2000, along with Cathy Brown, an Independent, and Elizabeth Dole, for the Republican Party.

Carol Moseley Braun sought the Democratic nomination in 2004.

Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party ran in 2008, along with La Riva, who had run in 1992. Also running in 2008, for the Democratic Party nomination, was Hillary Clinton (right).

In 2012, another three women ran: Michelle Bachman for the Republican Party, Peta Lindsay, for the P for Socialism and Liberation, and Jill Stein for the Green Party. Stein ran again, for the same party, in 2016, along with Carly Fiorina, for the Republican Party, and Clinton, for the Democratic Party.

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