Tennessee political trailblazer Jane Eskind died at 83-years-old.
She died Thursday afternoon, and friends and family members took time to remember Eskind and the vital role she played in the Tennessee political scene.
She was the first woman to win a statewide race in Tennessee in 1978. In that victory, she won the primary for the democratic nod for the U.S. Senate.
Eskind lost that run for Washington to Republican Howard Baker, but had already made her mark on our state politics.
Mayor Megan Barry released a statement expressing her condolences and gratitude to Eskind and her family.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalized.
Gary Bynum, Chair of the Davidson County Democratic Party, released the following statement:
“Jane Eskind was breaking glass ceilings before anyone knew it was possible. Starting in 1964, Jane fought tirelessly her entire life to break down the barriers that kept women out of politics. In 1980 she was the first female elected statewide when she won her post at the Public Service Commission eventually becoming the chair of the commission. She went on to chair the Tennessee Democratic Party, the first woman to hold that statewide position.
Her work set the stage for all the women in state politics today. From Mayor Megan Barry to Rep. Brenda Gilmore and beyond, the women of the Tennessee Democratic Party today stand on the shoulders of Jane Eskind.
Nashville politics was shaped by Jane Eskind and we are living the rewards of her hard work. Our love and prayers are with all that were a part of Jane’s life.”