League of Women to recognize South Central Texas' women mayors

Nixon, Smiley mayors among those to be honored


The League of Women Voters of South Central Texas is hosting a celebration of “Women Making History” from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 12 at Schulenburg's historic Senglemann Hall.

This event, inspired by Congress' 1987 designation of March as Women's History Month, will recognize the women currently serving their South Central Texas towns as mayors, including two from Gonzales County.

The League of Women Voters of South Central Texas serves Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Gonzales, and Lavaca Counties; among these counties, eight towns currently have women mayors. When League President Janis Richardson noticed the many women mayors in our area and mentioned it to others, most were surprised, even when their town had a woman mayor.

In some towns, women have previously served as mayor; in others, current mayors are the first women serving in this role. What is exciting is how many women are now running for office and serving their communities as mayors.

The League's Women Making History event will recognize Mayor Lori An Gobert (Columbus), Mayor Sara Post-Meyer (Cuero), Mayor Alice Jo Summers (Hallettsville), Mayor Jan Dockery (La Grange), Mayor Dorothy Riojas (Nixon), Mayor Katherine Payne (Nordheim), Mayor Elaine Kocian (Schulenburg), and Mayor Lisa Benavidez (Smiley). 

In addition, “Women Making History” will feature Schulenburg native Arleas Upton Kea as keynote speaker. Ms. Upton, the salutatorian of her Schulenburg High School graduating class and a graduate of the University of Texas Law School, recently retired from a top position at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC").

Arleas, who has devoted significant time and energy to public and community service, eagerly accepted the League's invitation to return to her hometown and be part of this celebration. Joyce Lebombard, President of the League of Women Voters of Texas, will also attend as a special guest.

All are welcome to the League's Women Making History celebration. Tickets can be purchased online at lwvsouthcentraltx.org or at the door for $20 per person. Light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be available.

With 100 years of experience, the League of Women Voters is one of America's oldest and most trusted non-partisan civic organizations. with local Leagues that serve more than 800 communities across the United States. Formed from the movement that secured women’s right to vote, the League's central effort is still expanding civic participation and giving all Americans a voice through educational and advocacy efforts.

The League of Women Voters of South Central Texas was formed in 2018 so that all voters in the South Central Texas area can benefit from the many ways Leagues work to empower voters and defend democracy.