Texas's first woman in the United States Senate graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and earned her law degree there. Unable to find a job as an attorney because few firms were then hiring women, she became the first woman to work as a television reporter in Houston in 1967, where she covered politics. After interviewing fellow Texan Anne Armstrong during her service as vice chair of the Republican National Committee, Hutchison became Armstrong's press secretary and moved to Washington.
In 1972, Hutchison was the first Republican woman elected to the Texas House of Representatives. During two terms there, Hutchison worked alongside Democrats to pass reform legislation improving the status of women. The Bailey-Weddington Law, for example, provided for legal assistance to rape victims. Hutchison also worked to establish equal credit for women and stricter anti-rape laws.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford appointed her vice-chair of the National Transportation Safety Board. In 1978, she married an attorney and moved to Dallas, where she served as general counsel of Republic Bank Corp. and became a small business owner. In 1990, Hutchison was elected state treasurer.
She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1993 in a special run-off election. In 1994, she was elected to a full term in the Senate. In 1996, she was considered as a vice presidential running mate for presidential candidate Robert Dole and was appointed to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Hutchison's last term ended in 2012.
Biography Source Information
Biographies are reprinted from the Foundation for Women’s Resources (now Women’s Resources), Dallas, Texas. They originally appeared in "From Gutsy Mavericks to Quiet Heroes: True Tales of Texas Women," video study guide, Austin: The Foundation for Women's Resources, 1997. Death dates have been added where needed.