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The Hattie and Huey Tour

Hattie Caraway and Huey Long

Hattie Caraway of Arkansas entered the Senate in November 1931, by appointment, following the death of her husband, Senator Thaddeus Caraway. Party leaders assumed the widow had no intention of seeking a full term, but they were wrong. On May 9, 1932, Caraway declared her candidacy. "I pitched a coin and heads came [up] three times," she noted in her diary. "I really want to try out my own theory of a woman running for office." Competitors ridiculed her chances, but they underestimated the tenaciousness of the "little lady from Arkansas." Among her many supporters was Louisiana senator Huey Long. In August 1932, the controversial Long joined Caraway for a week-long road trip—the Hattie and Huey Tour. "We're here to pull a lot of pot-bellied politicians off a woman's neck," Long bellowed to appreciative crowds. Caraway easily won the election. Reelected in 1938 (without Long's help), she served in the Senate until 1945.