Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin on Tuesday
defeated her Republican rival, former Governor Tommy Thompson, to
become the nation's first openly gay senator.
The AP called the race for Baldwin
around 10PM ET.
Baldwin replaces retiring Wisconsin
Senator Herb Kohl.
“The people who had faith that this
was possible made it possible,” Baldwin said before voting in
The 50-year-old Baldwin announced her
decision to enter the race in an email to supporters, ending months
Baldwin first ran for Congress in 1998
after serving 8 years in the Wisconsin Assembly.
While Baldwin is a perennial favorite
among the constituents in her district, her highest hurdle in running
for the Senate was lack of name recognition outside her district. That is something Thompson has in spades, having served as United States
secretary of health and human services under George W. Bush, a
Wisconsin state legislator and the 42nd governor of
Wisconsin from 1987 to 2001.
Despite the historical significance of
the race, Baldwin did not emphasize her sexual orientation during the