Tammy Baldwin beats Tommy Thompson and becomes US’ first openly gay senator

Filed in Politics, United States by on November 7, 2012 0 Comments

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin won over former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and became the first openly gay U.S. senator and first Wisconsin woman, elected to the U.S. Senate. In effect, Thompson, who served as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the administration of George W. Bush, retired from politics. According to Reuters, the Senate race between Baldwin and Thompson was the most expensive in state history with the two candidates raising at least $65 million.

Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin is first openly gay person elected to Senate

Screenshot: CNN

Baldwin will take the seat of Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl, who is retiring after his fourth term.

A former Wisconsin assemblywoman who was first elected to Congress in 1998, Baldwin becomes the first female senator from Wisconsin. She joined protesters at the state capital in Madison who objected to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed curbing of collective bargaining rights for public workers. Her sexual orientation wasn’t a major issue in the campaign. She is expected to be replaced in the House by Democrat Mark Pocan, also an openly gay politician.

Baldwin promised to support investments in infrastructure, education and research to create jobs in her campaign. She also painted Thompson as favoring tax cuts for the wealthy.

Thompson argued that lower taxes, fewer regulations, large spending cuts and entitlement reform will boost the sluggish U.S. economy.

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