Pioneering female state rep from Michigan's Upper Peninsula dies

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Politics,Associated Press,Michigan,Gender Issues

WALLACE, Mich. (AP) -- The first Democratic woman elected to the Michigan House from the Upper Peninsula has died. Judy Nerat was 64.

Scott Nerat said Thursday that his mother died Sunday of cancer. The Wallace resident was elected in 2008 but lost a re-election bid in 2010.

Nerat owned a beauty salon and earlier served 10 years on the Menominee County Road Commission.

Incoming House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel calls her "a pioneer" and says she was a "hard-working and dedicated advocate" for her constituents.

Scott Nerat says his mother was proud to be a pioneer "but never bragged about it." Her funeral is Saturday.

Upper Peninsula Republican Cora Anderson was the first woman elected to the state House and served one term in 1925-26. A state House office building bears her name.

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