TODAY   |  April 27, 2013

New Hampshire’s all-female delegation inspires

The state of New Hampshire is the first to send women, and only women, to Congress. The state’s legislators say that it is the life experiences of women that helps get things done. “If you’ve raised teenagers and toddlers you know how to get to ‘yes’,” said Rep. Ann Mclane Kuster. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

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>>> when it comes to politics new hampshire gets plenty of attention every four years being the country's first presidential primary but the political attention these days is focused on its representatives because the state's top five political positions are all held by women . kelly o'donnell caught up with them.

>> reporter: new hampshire senator jean shahhin knows something about firsts and we should not run the government this way. she is the first woman to serve as governor and senator from any state.

>> i think there has been this history of having women in important places in the state that's made a difference.

>> reporter: and now new hampshire is first to send women and only women to congress. three democrats and one republican.

>> had a father come up to me the other day and say my daughter is so inspired by this, the fact that it's an all woman delegation.

>> reporter: did we mention the current governor? good afternoon.

>> reporter: while gender was not a campaign issue, women 's life experiences could help get things done.

>> she braved teenagers and toddlers. i think we all have experience in our delegation it's not just that we're women . we're also all mothers.

>> reporter: juggling politics and family life senator kelly ayotte's children are the youngest just 5 and 8 who stay home in new hampshire with her husband while she commutes to washington. have each of you suffered the mom guilt?

>> absolutely.

>> i think all moms have that because you never feel like you can do enough because we're all tugged in so many places.

>> i have a great husband who's been supportive of me running for office and my career and so we're a team and we work together. consider this. 26 states have never elected a woman senator. and there are still five states that have not sent a woman to the u.s. house . so why is new hampshire first to elect an all female congressional delegation? being a small state surely helps, but new hampshire also has the largest state legislature in the country, with 400 members. and that means lots of opportunities to gain experience.

>> being a primary state, politics is our state force . people are acutely aware and involved. i think that helps, too.

>> reporter: with more women taking on higher office, the new reality is that an all women team will no longer be such a surprise. kelly o'donnell, nbc news, washington.