Gloria Wilinski Schaffer, born in New London, CT, attended the Williams School and Sarah Lawrence College. She was elected to the Connecticut State Senate in 1958, serving six terms. She was elected Secretary of the State in 1970, and was the Democratic Nominee for the United States Senate in 1976, when she was defeated by Lowell Weicker. She was the only woman (Democrat) to run for the US Senate in that election. In 1978, she was appointed a member of the Civil Aeronautics Board by President Carter, where she worked to effect consumer rules and airline deregulation. In 1985, she was appointed a member of the Freedom of Information Commission by Gov. William O’Neill, and then was appointed commissioner of Consumer Affairs for Connecticut by Gov. Lowell Weicker in 1991.