Lillian Exum Clement (1894–1925), also known as Lillian Stafford after marrying, was the first woman elected to the North Carolina General Assembly and the first woman to serve in any state legislature in the Southern United States.
Clement attended high school in Asheville, North Carolina and then Asheville Business College. She took a job as a deputy sheriff and studied law at night with private tutors. After earning one of the highest scores on the bar exam among 70 students, she became a criminal lawyer, the first female attorney in North Carolina without male partners.
In 1920, the Buncombe County Democratic Party asked the 26-year-old Clement to run for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives. She beat two male opponents in the primary election, shortly before the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution had passed. In the general election, Clement was elected by a margin of 10,368 to 41. She served one term in the House (1921). While in office, she introduced at least seventeen bills, many of which were passed.
After her marriage to E. Eller Stafford in 1921, Clement decided not to run for office a second time. She died of pneumonia in 1925 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.
A North Carolina Democratic fund-raising group, founded in 1997, is called "Lillian's List" in her honor.
A state historical marker located at Charlotte Street at College Street, Asheville, North Carolina, honors Exum; it reads, "First female legislator in the South. Elected to N.C. House, 1920. Her law office was 400 yds. west; home 1/2 mi. NE."〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Lillian Exum Clement Stafford )〕
In 2014 it was announced that "the historic Lillian Exum Clement house at 34 Hollywood Street will be forever protected by a donation of a preservation easement to the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County. Wingate Anders of Greensboro, NC, owner of the historic house and widower of Lillian’s only daughter, made the donation of the easement to ensure the protection and preservation of this noteworthy historic site." 〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=First female legislator’s Asheville home protected )〕
*Gertrude Dills McKee, first woman elected to the North Carolina State Senate, in 1930
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