Kathryn “Kay” Bailey was born in Galveston and graduated from the University of Texas, Austin. She earned a law degree from UT School of Law in 1967. Frustrated by the fact that few law firms were hiring women, Bailey turned to broadcasting instead, becoming the first female reporter for a Houston television station where she covered state politics. That spurred an interest in public service, leading to election to the Texas state legislature in 1972. In 1978 she married Texas attorney and legislator Ray Hutchison. Elected to the U.S. Senate in a special election in 1993, Hutchison was reelected three times and served until 2013. The first Republican woman since 1973 to hold a leadership position, Hutchison served as vice-chair of the Republican Conference (2000-2007) and chaired the Republican Policy Committee (2007-2009). In this interview, Hutchison discusses the strong bonds she forged with her female colleagues as they broke down institutional barriers, as well as collaboration with colleagues on legislative priorities including creation of the national “Amber Alert” and the Spousal IRA.
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Scholarly citation: "Kay Bailey Hutchison, U.S. Senator from Texas, 19932013," Oral History Interview, January 6, 2017, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.
Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.