Former Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, who died at 86 on Nov. 4, is remembered as a trailblazer both in her home state and at The Council of State Governments.

Minner served as the first and only female governor of Delaware (2001-09), as well as the state’s first female lieutenant governor (1993-2001). Her entry into politics at the age of 30 was unconventional, according to the Delaware News Journal, and included early roles a receptionist and legislative aid before she was elected to four terms in the Delaware House of Representatives and three terms in the Senate.

In addition to serving as the first female governor of Delaware, Minner became the first woman to serve as national president of The Council of State Governments in 2005 and was deeply involved in work of CSG East/Eastern Regional Conference.

In a statement, Delaware Gov. John Carney remembered Minner as a devoted public servant whose passion was rooted in personal experience. Carney served as Minner’s lieutenant governor from 2001-09.

“She was a leader who had a real common touch,” Carney said. “Governor Minner focused on raising up the working families of our state because she knew what it meant to struggle. Having grown up poor in Slaughter Beach, she brought that perspective to her job every day, and she never lost her attachment to those roots.

“During her time in office, Governor Minner worked with legislators of both parties to improve health care and fight cancer, strengthen our education system, and attract good jobs to our state. She will be greatly missed. Tracey and I are praying for Governor Minner’s family, and her many friends across our state, during this difficult time.”

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