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Jeannette Rankin of Missoula struck the first blow in her quest to become the nation’s first woman in Congress, outpolling seven men in the Republican primary for one of Montana's two at-large seats.

Rankin’s campaign was followed across the nation, prompting the Missoulian to remark that no other candidate except the president was receiving so much attention.

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She garnered 22,549 votes, far outdistancing her closest rival, Jacob Crull of Musselshell County. Crull, reportedly despondent over his health and his defeat to Rankin, committed suicide the following May, a month after Rankin assumed her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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