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By 1988 there are likely to be many more. Fed by the recent upsurge in women officeholders, the political pipeline should be brimming with potentially competitive Democratic women, few of whom are household names now. Missouri State Senator Harriett Woods, 56, who in 1982 narrowly lost her bid for the U.S. Senate to Republican Incumbent John Danforth, is moving into the national spotlight again with a race for Lieutenant Governor. In Oklahoma, four-term State Representative Cleta Deatherage Mitch ell, 33, caught the eye of national Democratic officials with her savvy performance as a member of the party's Hunt commission on delegate selection. In 18 months as Texas state treasurer, Ann Richards, 50, has won over bankers and businessmen by increasing the interest the state earns on its deposits; a liberal supporter of Mondale, she is thought to be a Cabinet possibility if he wins the presidency. In California, ambitious State Assemblywoman Maxine Waters, 45, is one of the most politically powerful womenand blacksin the state. Her logical next step: a race for Congress. In New York City, Council President Carol Bellamy, 42, is considering a 1985 challenge to Mayor Ed Koch.
As these women move up, their places will be taken by a new and larger generation of female politicians. Encouraged by their predecessors' success, and emboldened by talk of a woman Vice President, they may set their sights on a higher prize: the presidency itself. By Susan Tifft.
Reported by Barbara B. Dolan/Detroit and Neil MacNeil/ Washington, with other bureaus
*"The late Ella Grasso was elected Governor of Connecticut that year but did not take office until 1975.