24. Karma Secures an Unexpected Win for Women’s Political Participation
Argonia’s misogynist pranksters figured that no man would vote for a woman, and Susana Salter would lose. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union would be humiliated, women would learn their lesson, grow discouraged and henceforth stay away from elections and politics. Thanks to karma, things did not work out the way the pranksters figured they would. When the polls opened on April 4th, 1887, Susana Salter was unaware that she was on the ballot. She first found out when a local Republican Party delegation went to her house, to ask if she was actually running for mayor. She had not been – until then.
Asked if she would serve as mayor if actually elected, Salter said “yes”. The Republicans backed her, and the WCTU abandoned its candidate and voted as a block for Salter. She won over 60% of the vote, and America got its first female mayor. Her term was relatively uneventful, but her election became global news. Domestic and foreign press frequently reported on Argonia’s town meetings, women’s suffrage took a step forward, and instead of humiliation for female voters, Argonia’s misogynistic pranksters were the ones humiliated. As to Salter, she eventually resettled in Oklahoma, where she lived to the ripe old age of 101 before she passed away in 1961.