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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Patricia Stricherz Makes History: First Female Legislator from Lake County

At some point, Patricia Stricherz may cease to amaze me. But not tonight.

My wife and I got to wondering when the last time was that Lake County elected a woman to the South Dakota Legislature.

That's a tricky question, and I welcome my fellow bloggers and commenters to contribute their research. For one thing, districts change, so we Lake County residents haven't always been in District 8. But a quick scan of the Legislature's archive reveals that Patricia Stricherz is the first woman from Lake County ever elected to the Legislature. Going all the way back to Charles B. Kennedy, who served two years in the Territorial Assembly, Lake County has produced 63 legislators, all male.

Now Stricherz moved from Moody County to the great rebellious part of Lake County known as Winfred just this summer, so we almost didn't get to claim her. Had she stayed in Moody, she'd have made history there, too: no lady legislators have ever had Moody County as their home address, according to the archive.

Now here's the stumper question: has Lake County ever been represented by a lady from another county in our district? Remember, districts change over time (and will again next year, as the Republicans recarve our fair state in an attempt to ensure their continued dominance at the polls), so figuring this one out will take a little historical review. No prize but praise and fame, but hey, South Dakota political trivia buffs: start searching!

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