Tammy Baldwin Will Be America’s First Openly Gay Senator


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.


Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.