True:

Women will oc­cupy a record num­ber of seats — one in five — be­gin­ning in Jan­uary.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - ByW. Gard­ner Selby wgselby@states­man.com Con­tact W. Gard­ner Selby at 4453644. Twit­ter: @gard­nerselby @ poli­ti­fact­texas

Poli­tiFact checks Kay Bai­ley Hutchi­son’s state­ment that in Jan­uary‘we’ll see the great­est num­ber of fe­male sen­a­tors in our na­tion’s his­tory.’

In her farewell ad­dress to U.S. Se­nate col­leagues Wed­nes­day, Sen. Kay Bai­ley Hutchi­son — the first Texas woman to serve in the Se­nate — said, “It’s been a long and won­der­ful 19-plus years.”

Hutchi­son, a Repub­li­can be­ing suc­ceeded by Ted Cruz, added that she de­parts the 100-mem­ber cham­ber know­ing that “Jan­uary will see the great­est num­ber of fe­male sen­a­tors in our na­tion’s his­tory.” Is that right? As ev­i­dence, Hutchi­son “Women will oc­cupy a record num­ber of U.S. Se­nate seats — one in five — in Jan­uary, fol­low­ing vic­to­ries in yes­ter­day’s bal­lot­ing,” the ar­ti­cle said.

Seven­teen women are sen­a­tors now, and two of them — Hutchi­son and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine — are re­tir­ing.

Five women, four of them Democrats, won first terms in the Se­nate this fall.

The new­com­ers are Elizabeth War­ren, D-Mass.; Deb Fis­cher, R-Neb.; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; Heidi Heit- kamp, D-N.D.; and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.

So when the new Congress con­venes in Jan­uary, 20 sen­a­tors will be women, and that’s a record.

We har­vested his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive from a Se­nate web page list­ing the 39 women who have served as sen­a­tors in the years since an ap­pointee, Re­becca La­timer Fel­ton of Ge­or­gia, be­came the first to take the oath in Novem­ber 1922, though she served for only 24 hours.

Hutchi­son was among seven fe­male sen­a­tors on her ini­tial swear­ing-in in June 1993, ac­cord­ing to the Se­nate web page.

Women have held more than 10 Se­nate seats since 2001, more than 15 since 2007.

Rul­ing: We rate Hutchi­son’s vale­dic­tory claim as True.

KAY BAI­LEY HUTCHI­SON

State­ment: Says the U.S. Se­nate will have a record num­ber of fe­male sen­a­tors in 2013.

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