PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Susan Farmer, the first woman elected to statewide office in Rhode Island, has died at age 71 following a long battle with cancer.
Farmer's daughter Heidi Farmer Piccerelli says Farmer died overnight Sunday.
Farmer, a Republican, was elected Secretary of State in 1982 and went on to serve two terms. She then worked as president of Rhode Island PBS before retiring in 2004. She stayed active in state politics even after she was diagnosed with cancer, serving on the Board of Elections up until her death.
Secretary of State Ralph Mollis praised Farmer as a trailblazer.
Two years ago Farmer told The Associated Press that she looked forward to the day when it would no longer be considered noteworthy to have a woman running for elected office.