Helen Douglas Mankin

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Helen Douglas Mankin

Helen Douglas Mankin (1896–1956) was an American politician; she was the second woman to represent Georgia in the United States House of Representatives.

Mankin was born September 11, 1896, in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. She grew up there, attending public and private schools. She graduated with an A.B. from Rockford College, Rockford, Illinois, in 1917. She graduated with an LL.B. from Atlanta Law School, Atlanta, Georgia, in 1920. During and after the First World War, Mankin served as an ambulance driver in the American Women’s Hospital Unit No. 1, a Red Cross unit attached to the French army in 1918 and 1919. She was there as a civilian and was not officially a military veteran.

After the war and earning her law degree, Mankin entered private practice as an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. She entered politics, and served as a Democratic member of the Georgia General Assembly from 1937 until 1946.

In 1946, Mankin was elected as a Democrat to represent the fifth congressional district of Georgia in the 79th United States Congress, filling the seat left vacant by the resignation of Robert Ramspeck. She took her seat February 12, 1946. She was an unsuccessful candidate in that year's Democratic Party primary election when she sought renomination to run for reelection. She won the popular vote, gaining major support from Atlanta's African-American community, but lost in the county unit system, a voting system similar to the presidential electoral college that Georgia then used for primary elections. The county-unit system gave disproportionate weight to the votes of rural counties, severely discounting the votes of large urban areas, such as Atlanta's Fulton County. Mankin then was an unsuccessful write-in candidate in the general election of 1946.

Mankin's term of office concluded January 3, 1947. She continued to live in Atlanta, and she died there on July 25, 1956.

References[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Ramspeck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 5th congressional district

February 12, 1946 - January 3, 1947
Succeeded by
James C. Davis