Montgomery, AL – The daughter of Alabama’s first female governor, Lurleen B. Wallace, reflects on her mother’s legacy and rise to leadership. Peggy Wallace Kennedy says that now is the time for women to find their voices and step into the spotlight.
In the 1960s, Governor Wallace was the first and only woman who campaigned against former governors, congressmen, an attorney general and U.S. delegates. She won the race by a landslide vote, making her the first female governor in Alabama.
“That was a man’s world in the 60s. So, she did something for the fist time that a female ever did in the 60s and that was run for governor and win,” says Kennedy.
Some people believe that her mother was only a figurehead for former Governor George Wallace, after following in her husband’s footsteps. Kennedy says this couldn’t be further from the truth, noting decisions her mother made and mentioning that her father’s office was quickly moved across the hall from his wife.
Now, Governor Kay Ivey succeeds Wallace’s legacy and becomes the second female in the state’s top office.
“She campaigned for my mother when she ran for governor. So, my mother knew her. I know my mother would be very proud of her,” Kennedy commented.
However, the positions that women hold in Alabama politics seem to be few and far between. Kennedy says that it’s key to find a personal voice of passion and use it in the community. She says that more than ever there is an opportunity for women to crack the glass ceiling.