Loretta Cooper Woods was the third woman to have served Scioto County in the Ohio General Assembly. Prior to her service in the legislature, Woods had been a schoolteacher and former executive secretary to the late Ohio Congressman E.O. McCowen. In regard to women's position as state representatives, Loretta Woods stated that women "are quite particular as to what bills they should lend their name to" (Columbus Dispatch, January 23, 1955).
After serving four terms, the Republican was defeated for reelection in 1958 by Vernal Riffe during a Democratic sweep of many counties that election year. The Democrats had campaigned with a "right to work" agenda and the strong support of the labor unions of Ohio. Former Legislator Frances McGovern stated that if it hadn't been for that election, when the Democrats became the majority for the first time in a decade, Loretta Woods would have served many more terms in the Ohio House.
Biography courtesy of the Ohio Women's Policy and Research Commission