Ruthe Ridder

Ruthe Ridder
Ruthe Ridder (Democrat) represented [the 35th] district of King County in the State Senate. First elected in 1973, to serve the unexpired term of her retired husband, Robert Ridder, she served three terms.

Born in Pullman, Washington, Ridder's family moved to Seattle during the Depression. She attended Seattle schools, and graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Psychology.

Ridder and her husband raised their five children in the Rainer Valley, and became involved in local politics there. In 1964 they worked together on a congressional race, focusing on Education issues. Robert Ridder offered himself as a candidate for state senator in 1966 and won. Ruthe Ridder was well aquainted with the Legislature by the time her husband resigned, and knew she could make a valuable contribution there.

Senator Ridder saw herself as a voice in government for the high percentage of female heads-of-household, non-English speaking Asians, and unemployed unskilled people in her district. Senator Ridder advise[d] potential politicians to get private sector experience, "Since many who have served in Olympia have not understood the problems faced by industry and small business."

--Political Pioneers, The Women Lawmakers