Women in Business Spotlight on Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, House Republican Conference Chair

December 10, 2012

Less than a decade ago, Cathy McMorris Rodgers was working her family's 13-acre fruit orchard near Spokane, Washington – while serving part time in the Washington state legislature. On November 14th, Rodgers was elected to one of the top leadership posts of the Republican party. What took McMorris Rodgers from orchard farmer to a leading roll in the evolving face of the GOP?

Leadership positions in politics aren't anything new to McMorris Rodgers. She was first elected to Washington's House of Representatives when she was 24 years old, and she served as the house minority leader from 2002 until 2003, only stepping down to run for congress.
 
With her marriage to a U.S. Navy Seal commander and Spokane's Fairchild Air Force Base being in her district, Rodgers ran on military issues in 2004 and won 59.7% of the popular vote. In 2006, thanks in part to a 100% rating from the American Veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America, McMorris Rodgers won re-election. In 2010 she was elected to her third term, and, in 2012, she was named to the House Republicans’ #4 leadership position.
 
McMorris Rodgers is well respected within the Republican party. Veteran Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway calls her “the American Dream” from going from a farmer to highly-rated politician in just a decade. McMorris Rodgers could have a big impact on the GOP moving forward, as the party looks to combat their image that they aren't the party for women. There were even rumblings that McMorris Rodgers could have been Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential selection. She wasn't picked as VP, but McMorris Rodgers is well on her way to becoming a household name in national politics.
 
Back in August, the Center for Women in Business hosted a Google Hangout in which Rep. McMorris Rodgers participated and discussed how challenges small business face in this difficult economy.
 
Google Hangout