Party of Five

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Lisa Graham Keegan, who has just begun her second term as Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, decided to enter politics when she was watching the impeachment and ouster of Governor Evan Mecham. After she became education chief, in 1995, Keegan battled with Governor--and soon to be convicted felon--Fife Symington. When she suggested that he resign, a Symington crony said she was having "a bad hair day." Last week Keegan joined Governor Jane Hull, secretary of state Betsey Bayless, treasurer Carol Springer and attorney general Janet Napolitano (the lone Democrat) in the nation's first all-female state administration. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is from the state, swore in the "Fab Five," who have captivated the national media. To Arizonans, having women run things is no big deal. The candidates did not make gender an issue; they simply defeated their male opponents. Hull, who took over from Symington in 1995, is known for consensus building. (Hello, Washington?) The five are following an Arizona tradition. In 1914, before most American women had the right to vote, Frances Munds and Rachel Berry were elected to the state legislature. It's too soon to tell if the 1999 dream team is a harbinger of a national trend. However, chauvinists beware.