MARION, Ohio (AP) — It was “kind of unheard of” for a woman to enter politics in small-town Ohio in 1969, former U.S. Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow told a local radio host Thursday as her life was celebrated on the eve of her 90th birthday.
Withrow, a Democrat, spoke to Scott Spears of WWGH FM as part of an on-air birthday tribute hosted by the station. Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and 2016 gubernatorial nominee Richard Cordray, both fellow Democrats, were among guests who showed up or called in to wish her well.
Born Oct. 2, 1930, Withrow was a two-term Marion County treasurer and three-term Ohio treasurer before being appointed U.S. treasurer by President Bill Clinton in 1994. She is the only person to hold the position at all three levels of government.
Withrow’s tenure included the redesign and reissue of the $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes. A record $1.1 trillion in currency bears her signature.
Withrow told Spears she faced great skepticism from men about going into politics.
“It was so rough for women to get the vote and it’s rough to get into the whole scheme of things — and it’s still kind of rough,” she said.