state politics

Maine’s Janet Mills is a Worthy Foil for Governor
State's AG has tangled with the man some say she should replace

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

In high school, Janet T. Mills memorized a speech by Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine denouncing McCarthyism.  

Half a century later, the words have not left that state’s first woman attorney general.  

A Career of Firsts for Illinois Chief Justice Rita Garman
From county prosecutor to top state court justice, Garman has blazed trails

Illinois Supreme Court justice Rita R. Garman questions an attorney during oral arguments. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Lisa Madigan: Enduring the Rough and Tumble of Illinois Politics
She has built a track record of success as a proactive attorney general

   

Lisa Madigan of Illinois is the nation’s longest-serving woman state attorney general — and the Democrat has endured as the top legal officer in a state with deep budget troubles and a long-standing reputation for corruption.  

Dana Young, a Republican Force in Florida
The conservative state House majoirity leader has higher ambitions

Dana Young was inspired by Ronald Reagan to become a Republican and she's now the Florida House majority leader with an eye on a state Senate seat. (Photo courtesy Florida House of Representatives)

A chance to attend President Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union address in 1985 steered a congressional intern toward Republican politics, even though she came from a family that had been a force in the Florida Democratic Party for generations.  

Struck by Reagan’s ability to bring people together, "at that moment, I became a Republican,” said Florida House Majority Leader Dana Young. Now, at 51, Young is an attorney and conservative power-broker who has political ambitions in her home state.  

Car Stolen While Candidate Seeks Votes
Oklahoma state House candidate left his car running while he went knocking on doors

A college government teacher campaigning for Oklahoma’s state House suffered a major setback over the weekend: His car was stolen as he campaigned door-to-door.  

Democrat Forrest Bennett was making his rounds around an Oklahoma City neighborhood and had left his white 1995 Toyota Avalon running on the street when he turned around and realized it was gone, KFOR reported .

Gina Raimondo's Pension Reform Draws Cheers and Jeers
Rhode Island governor shies away from quick fixes

Gov. Gina Raimondo previously served a term as treasurer of Rhode Island where she spearheaded efforts to reform the state's pension system. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc)

It’s true that Gina Raimondo is the first female governor of the state of Rhode Island, but that’s not what she’s most known for.  

What landed Raimondo on Fortune’s list of the world’s 50 greatest leaders  — which also includes Pope Francis and Amazon's Jeff Bezos — is the same as what left many retirees in her state fearful for their futures: an overhaul of the state’s pension system.  

Oregon’s Tina Kotek Downplays Gay Milestone
'People have worse comments about me as a politician'

Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, D-Portland, left, deflects talk of a possible gubernatorial run but doesn't rule it out. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)

When Tina Kotek was a graduate student at the University of Washington in the mid 1990s, she applied for married student housing with the woman who was her partner. The school refused her application, and Kotek filed a discrimination suit, which she lost.

But then, as president of the graduate student government, Kotek was able to get the university to change its rules and allow housing access for domestic partners.