Democrat Debbie Dingell’s commanding victory on Election Day in Michigan’s 12th Congressional District marked the first time in electoral history that a non-widowed female candidate will directly succeed her husband in either legislative chamber. (John Dingell is retiring in January 2015 after 30 terms in the U.S. House). Over the last century, nearly 50 women have won elections or been appointed to U.S. Senate or U.S. House seats that were once held by their husbands. The only women to directly succeed their husbands into office and take over their seats were widows – either by winning election to the U.S. House or receiving an appointment to the U.S. Senate after vacancies were created by the death of their spouses.