For many women, the loss of Elizabeth’s Warren’s presidential run was a deeply sad moment. In its aftermath, KSQD spoke to Mary Hughes, a veteran of getting many women elected to higher office. She is founder of Close the Gap California. She has a more optimistic take on the current state of affairs.
Mary V. Hughes is a co-founder and President of Hughes & Company, previously Staton Hughes, a strategic communications and political consulting firm in Palo Alto, California. Mary founded and served as Director of The 2012 Project, a national, non-partisan campaign of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University to increase the number of women in Congress and state legislatures by taking advantage of newly drawn and newly created districts resulting from redistricting and reapportionment.
Mary has advised candidates for President, Congress, state and legislative office contributing to a number of groundbreaking “firsts” — first woman in US history to lead her Party in the Congress; first woman Superintendent of Schools in California; and first open lesbian judge elected in the nation.
Mary is a contributor to the Governors Guidebook series “Keys to the Governors Office” and “Win the Right Way,” collected essays on political strategy. Mary is featured in the new book, “Ready to Be a Thought Leader?” (Wiley, 2014). Hughes, a former Executive Director of the California Democratic Party, has published op-eds and book reviews related to American politics in the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post, among others. She is an Emerge CA “Woman of the Year” (2007) and a Women’s eNews Leader for the 21st Century (2012). Mary is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Mt. Holyoke College. She lives with her husband Joe Simitian in Palo Alto.