First Female Speaker of the House in Colorado
Growing up on a wheat farm, Lola Spradley never envisioned herself involved in politics. Before seeking elected office, Spradley had a successful career in the private sector, working as a telephone operator and eventually rising to be Assistant Vice-President and division manager for AT&T.
Representative Lola Spradley, a Republican from Beulah, was appointed to the House to fill a vacancy in 1997.
She served from then until 2004. Spradley represented Custer, Fremont, Pueblo, and Teller counties. She quickly rose through the ranks within the House serving as House Majority Leader in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, the glass ceiling was shattered and Representative Spradley was unanimously chosen by the Republican Caucus to be the first female Speaker of the House.
Rep. Spradley navigated many hurdles while she was in the legislature,dealing with some of the biggest problems in Colorado’s history – budget deficit, droughts and wildfires, while also increasing the affordability of health insurance and reforming auto insurance. Her role model, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, took on similar challenges giving Spradley an optimistic outlook.
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Note: The information on this page is made available through the generosity of the Colorado Legislative Women’s Caucus, which has asked us to preserve, maintain and promote information they gathered.