Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated Republican Tommy Thompson in a race to become the next senator from Wisconsin.
Fox News and CBS News called the contest Tuesday night for Baldwin, who will become America's the first openly gay senator -- a development that progressives and gay rights advocates immediately praised as the results trickled in.
"Tonight, at the end of a long and hard-fought campaign, we have won a huge victory for Wisconsin's middle class," Baldwin said in her victory speech. "Well, the people's voice was heard tonight, Wisconsin - and come January, your voice will be heard in the United States Senate."
"I am honored, and humbled, and grateful," she said. "And I am ready to get to work."
Both candidates characterized themselves as pragmatic moderates. Baldwin played up Thompson's role as a lobbyist since serving in the Bush administration, while Thompson invoked the goodwill he built up as governor and pledge to fight for Wisconsinites.
Baldwin has served as a congresswoman since 1999.
Thompson is a former governor of the state and top Bush administration health official.