JoinCalifornia: Election History for the State of California

Information Home Elected Offices Elections by Decade Longest Service Shortest Service Most & Fewest Votes Uncontested Races Closest Contests Redistricting Recalls
Elections 2026 PREVIEW 2024 General 2024 CD-20 Special 2023 US Senate Appt 2022 General Prior 2020s Elections Elections by Decade
Other Stuff Advanced Search CA Constitution CA in Congress Line of Succession Highest Ranking SCOTUS Cases

[search tips] [advanced search]

Searching tips

  • Enter a candidate's name to find a candidate
  • Enter the name of a political party to find the party and all candidates
  • Enter a date to find an election
  • Enter a year to find all elections within that year

Wanda Sankary


Picture of Wanda Sankary
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-02-1954 Democratic AD-79 28918 Win
11-06-1956 Democratic AD-79 35129 Loss

Candidate Biography:

Wanda Young Sankary
Born: December 22, 1919 near Scranton, North Dakota
Married: Allen Young (m. 1942, d. 1943), Morris Sankary (m. 1952, div. 1972)
Child: Timothy and Ronald
University: University of Southern California (L.L.B., 1950)
Died: September 2, 2005 in San Diego, CA

  • Sankary gave birth to her first child on the night she was elected to the Assembly (in 1954). It would be another 40 years before Jackie Speier became the first member of the California Legislature to give birth while in office.
  • Sankary herself was born in a sod house on the prairie in North Dakota. Her father was working in a coal mine and at the time of her birth, Sankary's mother was alone at their home with five children.
  • CLOSE CONTEST: Sankary narrowly won the 1954 General election when she defeated Schneider by 437 votes (0.8%).
  • QUOTABLE: "There are approximately seven million women in California and I feel that as one of the three women legislators I should be concerned with the welfare of women."
  • Sankary lost her reelection after Attorney General Pat Brown (a fellow Democrat) endorsed her Republican challenger instead of her.

Source: "Wanda Sankary; first female lawyer in state Assembly" by Jack Williams, San Diego Union Tribune (10/9/2005)
Source: From sod house to State House : oral history transcript (1977-1979); Bancroft Library. Regional Oral History Office [LINK]