The Honorable Sue Myrick
“But I think there’s still a lack of mentoring among women, not just in politics but in general. That’s kind of sad because somebody else paved the way for me, I certainly didn’t do it. I mean, yes, I was the first in a couple things, but somebody else in the national scene made it possible for women to be here—Jeannette Rankin, for example. I still can’t believe that that long ago she was able to get elected to Congress. That’s phenomenal. We talked about that type of thing a lot. How in the world did she get elected when she was definitely in a man’s world?”
—The Honorable Sue Myrick, March 14, 2016
U.S. Representative from North Carolina (January 3, 1995-January 3, 2013)
Spurred into action by a local land dispute, Sue Myrick began her political career on the city council before making history as the first woman mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. Myrick used her experience and name recognition to win a seat in Congress, achieving another milestone as the first Republican woman elected to Congress from North Carolina. In her interview, Myrick recalls her time as freshman class liaison, a position that provided unique access to the leadership during a monumental period that saw Republicans gain control of the House for the first time in 40 years.
In her oral history, Myrick reflects on how her personal fight against breast cancer influenced her legislative career and strengthened her resolve to draw attention to women’s health. She also describes her successful challenge against an institutional tradition that discouraged women Members and staff from wearing pants on the House Floor. During her nearly two decades in the House, she emerged as a spokesperson for conservatives in her party, earning assignments on the influential Rules, Intelligence, and Energy and Commerce committees. In her oral history, Myrick reflects on the role of women in her party and shares her memories of chairing the Republican Study Committee.
MYRICK, Sue, a Representative from North Carolina; born in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio, August 1, 1941; graduated from Port Clinton High School, Port Clinton, Ohio; attended Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio, 1959–1960; at–large member, Charlotte, N.C., city council, 1983–1985; mayor, Charlotte, N.C., 1987–1991; unsuccessful candidate for nomination to the United States Senate in 1992; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Fourth and to the eight succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1995–January 3, 2013); was not a candidate for reelection to the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress in 2012.
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Using “Sue” on her campaign buttons was more than an easy way for voters to remember Congresswoman Sue Myrick’s name. She used it as a promise and a reminder to stay grounded.
Freshman Class Liaison
The Honorable Sue Myrick remembers interacting with leadership as a freshman.
The Honorable Sue Myrick reflects on the importance of the leadership positions in the Congresswomen's Caucus.
The Honorable Sue Myrick remembers women encouraging compromise and harmony within the House.
Taking Work Home
The Honorable Sue Myrick shares memories of women Members working after hours.
The Honorable Sue Myrick recalls working with other women to break House tradition surrounding women's attire.
The Honorable Sue Myrick recalls employing and promoting women whenever possible.
Responsibility of Public Figures
The Honorable Sue Myrick remembers speaking out about her experience with breast cancer and the effect it had on her female constituents.
Women and Leadership
The Honorable Sue Myrick discusses the challenges of getting women in leadership positions.
Lack of Mentoring for Women
The Honorable Sue Myrick discusses the difference she has noticed between men and women mentors.
"Nobody Wants to Work Together"
The Honorable Sue Myrick discusses the changing sense of bipartisanship in modern politics.
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