Ruth S. Stockton (R-Jefferson County) first served in the Colorado House (1961-64) and then the state Senate (1965-1984). Having served for 24 years, Stockton served longer in the legislature than any other woman. While in the Senate, Stockton was not only the first woman to serve on the Joint Budget Committee, she became the first woman to chair that committee. She was also the first woman to serve as President pro tem of the Senate.
To honor Ruth Stockton, her portrait in a stained glass window was created for Denver’s state Capitol building. It is located in the Senate chambers.
Stockton was inducted in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 1985 with the following tribute:
“Although active in Denver area volunteer, humanitarian, and cultural activities for many years, Ruth Stockton waited until her daughter left for college to run for political office and became a powerful legislator and a champion for low-income and less fortunate people. . . Stockton chaired the Senate’s Health, Environment, Welfare, and Institutions Committee for 10 years, was the first woman to serve on the Joint Budget Committee, and chaired the Appropriations Committee. A moderate Republican, Stockton was known for her political skills and support of the Equal Rights Amendment, improvement in children’s health and education, and abortion rights for women.”
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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.