Madeleine Kunin
Vermont Woman - You open your memoir, Living a Political Life, with your decision not to run for a fourth gubernatorial term. By then you’d served for 17 years, first as a Representative from Burlington, then as Lt. Governor and Governor. The question you say you continually faced was whether you were “as strong as a man.” Do you think your successors, Governors Snelling, Dean, and Douglas, have faced comparisons to the standard you set as a woman, building a more inclusive and egalitarian government.

Madeleine Kunin - I think we did set a standard. Definitely for appointing women. Governor Dean kept a lot of the women that I had appointed. I haven’t added up the numbers of women in the Douglas administration. I don’t think it’s as high as Dean’s record, but it certainly has become more commonplace to have women serve in top positions in government. You know, in 1984, when I was elected, there were a whole group of women who were eminently qualified, but still their credentials were different from the men who had preceded them. What I was able to do was broaden the definition of qualifications.


On May 3, 1982, Lt. Governor Madeleine Kunin announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor.

Courtesy Vermont Historical Society