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Reba Hurn

Biography

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Rebecca Jane Hurn (1881–1967) was the first woman elected to the Washington State Senate, serving from 1923 to 1930. Before launching her legal and political careers, she pursued graduate work at Heidelberg University in Germany, then worked for New York philanthropist and political activist Nathan Straus, who became her mentor. Her assistance with Straus's Democratic Party activities provided Hurn with first-hand political experience long before she ran for office as a Republican in 1922. As the lone woman in the state senate, she at first attracted press attention more as a novelty than as the serious legislator that she soon became. After two terms in office, she returned to her law practice in Spokane, remained active in public affairs, and was a world traveler of unusual perception and daring.
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