A 103-year-old woman who was one of the first people to vote for Hillary Clinton has died. Before her death, she reportedly asked her son-in-law to send a message to the former candidate.
According to CNN, “Ruline told her son-in-law to ‘send Hillary a note after her death and to let her know that she’ll still be fighting.’”
CNN reports that Ruline Steininger caucused for Hillary Clinton in Iowa, determined to help elect the country’s first female president.
“I’ve got a big job ahead of me … I’ve got to live,” she said at the time. “After that, OK, I can die if I want to, but I’m going to live until she’s elected.”
3 months after Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump, Steininger died. Her daughter-in-law Karen Steininger explained that she lived a long, happy, and productive life. “She had a long and productive life and did much to inspire many women, young and old,” she said. “One of my favorite things that she said, as my husband was telling her about the Women’s March here in Des Moines, was to please send Hillary a note after her death and to let her know that she’ll still be fighting. An activist even after she’s gone.”
Steininger was born in 1913, before women were allowed to vote. On Sept. 29th, she became one of the first people to vote for Clinton, voting early in Iowa after meeting the candidate backstage at a campaign rally.
“I’m not taking any chance and leaving it until the election. When you’re 103, you make every minute count,” she said.
“And you have made every minute of all those years count,” Clinton responded.
Response to Steininger’s death swept through social media. One Facebook user wrote, “Please have some respect for her, and please don’t use her passing to criticize Clinton or Trump (even if I personally don’t like either person) — after all, we didn’t lose a Clinton supporter. We lost an American who cherished her sense of civic duty. May you rest in peace, Mrs. Steininger.”
Another added, “Hopefully people from both sides of this election can be compassionate and express love towards this woman. She wanted to see the first woman to become president, and though she didn’t live to, we will have a woman in the White House sooner rather than later and I am positive Ruline knew that.”
Steininger was reportedly dismayed at Trump’s win on election night. “We made a lot of progress and it looked like we were going to make a lot more, and now we’re not,” she said. “And that’s going to make a big difference in our country.”
“It won’t bother me, I’m going to die,” she added. “But I’ve got children and grandchildren that are going to be affected by President Trump.”