Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)




Minnesota's 2002 elections were a disaster for progressive women, those who support abortion rights and believe that government has a key role in making social improvements. In 2002 no progressive woman was elected to statewide office, and three key senators and four progressive representatives lost their re-election bids.

This research asks: Where and why has leadership emerged that helps progressive women regain ground in the Minnesota House of Representatives and adds Minnesota women to Congress?

In 2004, the DFL propelled five new women to the House, four over Republican women, and congressional races featured a record number of major party women candidates. The lesson of 2004 was that when progressives train as they fight and fight as they train they win. They recruited, trained, and fought well using progressive strengths. Experience and foresight made it possible to innovate and expand. Voter concerns were met with timely messages. Women leaders cultivated the pipeline of other women to advance their prospects for continued success in higher offices.


SC 11.MAL.2004.Holste.GC