Here’s to the 105 Women Who Have Run for the Highest Office

by Christina Bellantoni
Photograph: iStock

It may seem as if only a handful of women have run for president. In fact, 28 have won the presidential nomination from their parties, and an additional 77 have won the vice-presidential nomination, according to one estimate. (A definitive number doesn't exist, because some of the female candidates were not on the ballot in every state.)

The first to appear on the ballot for the top spot was Belva Lockwood, who earned the Equal Rights Party nomination in 1884—and received nearly 5,000 votes. More than 100 years later, in 1988, Lenora Fulani grabbed a place in history as the woman to win the most votes in a general election: 217,219 people voted for her when she ran under the New Alliance Party. Other assaults on the ceiling (see left):

❶ In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro, a three-term congresswoman from New York, was named Walter Mondale's running mate; they lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

❷ In 1999, Elizabeth Dole ran for the GOP nomination after holding cabinet positions in the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations; she dropped out before voting began.

❸ In 1996 and 2000, activist Winona LaDuke appeared on the Green Party ticket as Ralph Nader's running mate; she was often overshadowed by Nader, an outspoken consumer advocate.

❹ In 2003, Carol Moseley Braun sought the Democratic nomination for president after making history 11 years earlier with her election to the Senate. She didn't win any primaries.


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Related: Running (For President) in Heels

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First Published December 7, 2011

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