The official website for the State of New Jersey lists an important date in history on their site today: “January 11, 1966: Mildred Barry Garvin becomes 1st female state senator in New Jersey.” They really meant Mildred Barry Hughes, a Democrat from Union County who became the first woman elected to the State Senate when she won in 1965. She took office in January 1966, twelve years before Mildred Barry Garvin was sworn in as an Assemblywoman. Garvin, who was Richard Codey’s running mate in 1977 and 1979, was a Democrat from East Orange.
Just in case Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells, whose office is held accountable for the posting, hasn’t been reading The Inside Edge for the last 3,629 days: after Senator Hughes came Jerry Fitzgerald English (D-Summit), who won a 1971 special election and spent two months in the Senate filing an unexpired term; and Wynona Lipman (D-Newark), who served in the Senate from 1972 until her death in 1999. The first women to serve in the State Assembly were Margaret Laird and Jennie Van Ness, Essex County Republicans who were elected in 1920.