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Edens, Martha (c. 1928-2015)

Edens was a well-known Republican figure in the state from the 1950s, serving as National Committeewoman for SC and Chair of the Richland County Republican Party. Her brother, Drake Edens, Jr. was state Party chairman, 1963-1965.

Oral History Transcript (pdf, 39 pages)
Here, she discusses her leadership roles in sorority and community organizations and how she became involved in politics. She attributes the latter to inheriting her father's ideology and observing her brother's work and commitment to the Party. She describes the resurgent Party's early days, commenting on members Charles Boineau, Gayle Averyt, Bill Workman, Carroll Campbell and others. She shares a particular fondness for Floyd Spence and Strom Thurmond, as well as her admiration for current notables Joe Wilson and Mark Sanford. She describes numerous campaigns, some Republican National Conventions she attended (including in 1972 and 1996), obstacles she faced as a woman in politics, as well as why she feels the Republican Party is welcoming to women.