Helen Boosalis, 89, a former mayor of Lincoln, Neb., who ran for governor in 1986 and was the first female president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, died Monday at a Lincoln hospice after a brief illness.

A Democrat, Ms. Boosalis was elected Lincoln's first female mayor in 1975, when she defeated two-term Mayor Sam Schwartzkopf. She had been a member of the City Council for 16 years. She served as mayor until 1983.

In 1981, she became the first female president of the Conference of Mayors.

She ran for governor in 1986 but was defeated by Republican Kay Orr. It was the nation's first gubernatorial election in which both major-party candidates were women.

Last year, Ms. Boosalis' daughter Beth Boosalis Davis published a book titled Mayor Helen Boosalis: My Mother's Life in Politics.

- AP