Monday, June 15, 2009

Helen Boosalis 1919-2009

From The Lincoln Journal Star

Helen Boosalis, pathfinder, trailblazer, Lincoln’s first female mayor and 1986 gubernatorial nominee, died Monday.

Boosalis leaped hurdles, tore down barriers and wrote history during her 89 years.

Beginning with her election to the City Council 50 years ago, Boosalis walked point -- or, more accurately stated, ran point -- for women in politics.

After 16 years on the council, she was elected mayor in 1975 and served two terms.

Boosalis was the Democratic flagbearer in the first-in-the-nation matchup of major party female gubernatorial candidates in 1986, losing to Republican Kay Orr.

After that defeat, she continued to play a leadership role in national and state organizations as diverse as historic preservation, consumer advocacy and Arbor Day.

Boosalis was chairwoman of the board of directors of the American Association of Retired Persons in 1996-98.

“I want to help encourage people to go beyond what they think they’re capable of doing,” she said during an interview six months after losing the gubernatorial election.

“That’s what they did with me,” she said.

“You can accomplish what you didn’t dream was possible. Take a little risk. Be prepared. Set your goals high.”

Her defeat in the 1986 gubernatorial election to the horrid Kay Orr was disastrous for this state and America.After 4 years of Orr making mistake after mistake the state was on the brink and elected Earl B. Nelson Governor. I need not tell you the thorn Earl B. Nelson has become in our sides. RIP Helen B. She was one of the good ones.

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