1st woman to win Tennessee statewide election dies at 83

Jane Eskind, the first woman to win a statewide election in Tennessee and a longtime Democratic Party activist, has died. She was 83.

Katy Varney, a family spokeswoman, said Eskind died Thursday after a long illness.

Eskind was elected to the Public Service Commission in 1980. She had unsuccessful bids for U.S. Senate and governor over the years and in 1994, she became the first woman to chair the Tennessee Democratic Party.

In 2011, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Civil Liberties Union for her leadership in advancing the role of women in politics and changing the political landscape in Tennessee.

Eskind was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She settled in Nashville in 1956.

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