Elaine Kontominas Alquist (born August 21, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois) a former Democratic state senator from California's 13th Senate District. Prior to serving in the senate, she served in the state assembly for 6 years.
The 13th Senate District (SD 13) is the heart of Silicon Valley in Santa Clara County and includes the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Gilroy.
She was in office from December 2004 to December 2012. She succeeded John Vasconcellos, who himself succeeded Alquist's husband, the late Al Alquist, who represented the district for 30 years. Alquist graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from MacMurray College in 1966 and a Master of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1967.
Alquist has been a policy maker for more than 20 years. Her professional career began as an algebra and trigonometry teacher and a counselor in the public schools. In 1981, she served as PTA president and then beginning in 1983 served eight years as a member and then president of the board of education of the Cupertino Union School District. A former small-business owner, realtor and financial analyst at Stanford University, Alquist is the first Greek American woman elected to both houses of the California State Legislature. Alquist is engaged to Duncan Benas. Her family includes her sons, Peter and Bryan White, daughters-in-law, Anju Chowdhry White and Asako Yasui White, and grandchildren, Jasmine and Logan.
Alquist was elected to the California State Assembly's 22nd District in November 1996, and was re-elected to two consecutive terms in November 1998 and 2000.
Alquist was elected to the California State Senate in November 2004 and served as state senator for District 13. Alquist was re-elected to a second term in 2008. Her final term ended in 2012, when she termed-out.