Kaptur Breaks Record

When the new Congress convenes today, Ohio Congresswoman, Marcy Kaptur will become the longest-serving woman in its history. First elected to Congress in 1982, Kaptur will set the mark for the longest tenure by a woman in the House or Senate, surpassing former Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat who retired at the end of 2017. Never much of a fundraiser and always willing to challenge party leaders, Kaptur sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee but she has never ascended to leadership positions in Congress. Kaptur challenged Rep. Nancy Pelosi in 2002 for House Democratic leader and occasionally clashed with her during her two stints as House speaker. Pelosi called Kaptur a “a constant unwavering voice for America’s heartland” in 2018 after she became the longest-serving woman in House history. When Kaptur arrived in Washington, she was one of 23 women in Congress. There will be a record 149 women in the new Congress, but that still represents less than 30% of all seats.

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