Which one state has never sent a woman to Congress?
I wouldn't have guessed Vermont, either.
Driving the news: With a rare opening in its congressional delegation, the Green Mountain State is poised to lose its distinction as the only state that has never been represented by a woman in Washington, AP's Wilson Ring reports from Montpelier.
The big picture: Three women — Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint and Sianay Chase Clifford, a social worker and former Capitol Hill aide — are among the Democrats competing in a Aug. 9 primary. It's for a seat being vacated by the state's lone U.S. House member, Democrat Peter Welch, who's trying to move to the Senate.
- The two Republican candidates registered to run in the midterm elections are also women.
Between the lines: Given Vermont's liberal reputation, it might seem strange that it would be the last state to send a woman to Congress.
- But Vermont's tiny population makes it one of a handful of states with the smallest possible congressional delegation — two senators and one House member. And like many states, Vermont has traditionally re-elected its incumbents, who have happened to be white men who have ended up serving for extraordinarily long stretches.
- That includes Democrat Patrick Leahy, who was first elected in 1974 and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in history.
Trivia answer: In 2018, Vermont became the last state without female representation in Congress when Mississippi Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith was appointed to the Senate.