Throwback Thursday – Patsy Sloan, the first woman ever elected to Bowling Green politics

March is Women’s History Month, and Throwback Thursday this week is dedicated to another woman who made Bowling Green history: Patsy Sloan, the first female elected official and first female Mayor in the city’s history. We even found the joint Bowling Green and Warren County Proclamations from 1986 and 1989, declaring March as Women’s History Month.

Patsy grew up in Texas, earning a Bachelor’s degree in government and Master’s degree in political science. Her family moved to Bowling Green in 1969, where she soon began her 31-year teaching career at Bowling Green High School. Leading the Social Studies department, teaching Political Science and U.S. History, Patsy took on the City Commission race against 11 male candidates in 1977.

In an interview with Allyson Wells, Patsy said one of the most difficult things about campaigning door-to-door was the conception of women’s responsibilities at home that she was forsaking at the time—noting her husband was a grown 40-year-old who could take care of his own dinner on campaign nights. Winning that election, and being re-elected to four more City Commission terms, Patsy spent an entire decade in city government. She said she didn’t want to be a career City Commissioner, and running for a Mayoral term would be how she’d like to spend her final years making a difference. 

Patsy Sloan won the race. She served as Bowling Green’s first ever female Mayor, from 1988 to 1991. That was her retirement from active city politics. She still serves the community in various nonprofit giving and sits on the Warren County Economic Development Authority board of directors.

We continue to celebrate Women’s History Month with the first woman to serve as a Bowling Green elected official.