In 1926, Seattle became the first major American city to elect a woman as mayor.
The inauguration of municipal reformer Bertha Landes brought national headlines and seemed to signal a new era for women in public office.
But after just two years, city voters rebelled against what some called “petticoat rule” and booted Landes in favor of Frank Edwards, a virtually unknown businessman.
Despite Seattle’s progressive self-image — and its role in sending women to the U.S. Senate and governor’s office — the city has not elected a woman mayor in the 85 years since Landes left office. In all that time, a woman has not even appeared on the general-election ballot.