Wives taking their deceased husband's place in government is a time-honored tradition. Here's how it works: the husband dies, leaving a seat open. Instead of conducting a frantic search for a replacement, the spot is taken over by a (often much younger) wife. She is supposed to carry on her husband's policies, before stepping aside during the next election cycle.
In American Congress, this "widow's succession" has been happening since the early 20th century. And even though in many cases, the wife steps aside rather quickly, sometimes she carries on much longer than expected.
Such was the case with Florence Prag Kahn. Her late husband, Julius, served in the House for 23 years. Florence stepped into his shoes and carried on for 12 more. In the process, she became only the fifth woman to serve in Congress, and the first Jewish woman to do so.
In fact, Kahn was much more than a placeholder. A contemporary said that "Congress treats her like a man, fears her, admires her, and listens to her."
Yes, a pioneer in women's representation made headway because she was "treated like a man." We guess it had to start somewhere...