Malcolm Farmer

Susan Farmer, who in 1982 became the first women elected to statewide office in Rhode Island when as a Republican she ousted a longtime Democratic incumbent to become secretary of state, has died after a protracted battle with cancer. She was 71.

Malcolm `Mac” Farmer III was once one of Providence’s best known Republicans, a city council member with a sharp eye for  financial and legal issues. A prominent lawyer, Farmer was a staunch moderate and supporter of civil rights who was a well-regarded voice of reason on a council riven by ethnic and partisan grandstanding . He is the husband of Susan Farmer, a Republican who in 1982 became the first women elected to statewide office in Rhode Island when she won as secretary of state.