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First female lieutenant governor of Wisconsin has died

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Margaret Farrow, the first woman to serve as lieutenant governor in Wisconsin, died at the age of 87.

Margaret Farrow, the first woman to serve as lieutenant governor in Wisconsin, died Tuesday, according to her son, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. She was 87.

The former lieutenant governor spent decades in politics, beginning as a trustee in the Waukesha County Village of Elm Grove. Farrow was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1986 and was elected to the state Senate three years later, then reelected in 1990, 1994 and 1998.

In 2001, Farrow, a Republican, was appointed lieutenant governor after the man who held that office, Scott McCallum, became governor when Tommy Thompson departed.

Paul Farrow, in a statement Tuesday, said he felt fortunate to have been raised by one of his personal heroes.

“She was a trailblazer. Not only because of her significant positions as a woman in what was very much a man’s world at the time, but because of the way she stood up for all of the people of our community and our state to represent their best interests for decades,” he said.

His mother continued to work with various boards, committees, commissions, and task forces through 2021, he said.

In a statement, Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) called Farrow "a great leader who stood up for everyone in her community and represented our state with grace. She was incredibly talented and inspired many, not only because she was the first female Lieutenant Governor, but because of her long legacy of public service.

Vos also said, "[She] has left a lasting impact on the legislature and the state of Wisconsin. She has influenced people and policy, and our state is a better because of her.”

Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Tim Sheehy also released a statement, saying, "Having worked with then-Senator Farrow, I can personally attest to her thoughtful insight and determination, both of which were instrumental to the passage of legislation providing low-income parents the opportunity to choose where their children attended school, both through the Milwaukee Parental Choice program and independent charter schools."

Farrow passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones at home in Pewaukee, according to her family. No cause of death was released. Funeral arrangements are pending.