Herstory must wait after Clinton loss

David Weissman
  • Donald Trump's selection makes him 45th consecutive male president in the U.S.
  • York City Council President Carol Hill-Evans became first woman to win Pa.'s 95th District seat.
  • Hill-Evans joins Phillips-Hill, Klunk and Keefer, all Republicans, as female York County legislators.

Hillary Clinton got closer than any other woman in U.S. history, but Donald Trump's victory ensures America continues its streak of 45 consecutive male presidents.

Marta Peck, of York City, watches as York County Democrats gather during an election results watch party at Roosevelt Tavern in York City, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Many believed Clinton would be the one to break the "glass ceiling," and her rise toward power brought out some emotional responses from local women while they were still waiting for results to be announced.

Marta Peck fought back tears as she recounted filling out her ballot earlier.

The staunch York City Democrat said she could've just hit the straight Democratic ticket, but she decided to vote for each candidate individually.

"I wanted to be able to hit that button for Hillary (Clinton)," she said.

Born in 1947, Peck recalled being denied as job as a cashier because the company didn't believe women were responsible enough to handle money.

Clinton becoming president would mean her 2- and 5-year-old grand-nieces would always grow up "knowing a woman can become president," she said.

Peck has been volunteering for the Democratic Party of York County since February, making calls and stuffing envelopes.

"After the first 200 calls, it gets easier," she said, laughing.

Peck lamented that she was tired, but "good tired" after the months of work and getting up at 5:15 a.m. Tuesday to serve as a poll watcher. She also noted she's not unique in her dedication, pointing to several others in the room who volunteered with her throughout the campaign.

One of those she pointed out was Salome' Johnson, who echoed Peck's feeling of tired, while adding in glad, frustrated and excited among her emotions, before the election was called.

Johnson served as an alternate delegate for Clinton during the Democratic National Convention, and she said the fact that a woman could be president was "amazing."

"It says we can do anything," she said.

Johnson, an African-American, recalled her excitement when Barack Obama was elected in 2008, but she said she didn't think think African-Americans had come as far in politics as she'd hoped in the eight years since that historic day.

She hoped Clinton's selection might mean more for the advancement of women in politics.

Hill-Evans: Though Clinton ultimately lost, one local female candidate did make history.

Democrat Carol Hill-Evans won the state House seat in the 95th District and will become the first woman to represent the district.

Hill-Evans, York City Council president, said it felt awesome to know she can serve as a role model for young girls.

Johnson, a good friend of Hill-Evans, said she believes Hill-Evans was uniquely qualified for the position.

Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, 93rd District, reacts as Trump is announced winner of Florida during the Republican Committee election watch, Tuesday, November 7, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

With Hill-Evans' selection, York County now has four female state General Assembly members with the re-election of Reps. Kristen Phillips-Hill, R-York Township, and Kate Klunk, R-Hanover, and the election of Republican Dawn Keefer in the 92nd District.

Democrat Katie McGinty narrowly missed becoming the first female U.S. senator representing Pennsylvania as incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey held on to his seat.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com and on Twitter @DispatchDavid.