Openly gay Wisconsin Representative
Tammy Baldwin is seriously considering a run to succeed Wisconsin
Senator Herb Kohl, who announced in May he would not seek a
fifth term in 2012.
“I think I am likely to run,”
told Madison-based The Capital Times. “I am gathering
more data and I am going to be traveling around the state.”
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the
Victory Fund, a group devoted to promoting openly gay elected
officials, is encouraging Baldwin to run for the Senate. If elected,
she would become the chamber's first openly gay member.
“This would obviously be a top
priority for us. Tammy Baldwin has been an outstanding
congresswoman, and she'd be an outstanding senator,” Wolfe said in
an email to supporters.
Baldwin is among the four openly gay
lawmakers serving in the House. Also gay are David
Cicilline of Rhode Island, Barney Frank of Massachusetts and
Jared Polis of Colorado.
The 49-year-old Baldwin was first
elected to represent the people of Wisconsin's 2nd
congressional district in 1999. For 8 years prior she served in the
When asked how she would fend off the
almost-inevitable smear attacks of opponents, Baldwin said she was
prepared to lead by example.
“It is daunting these days the way
people are personally demeaned for holding a view, and yet I fear
good people won't step forward and run for office if we don't set an
example,” she said. “The toxicity is such I fear we won't have
good people standing for elections.”
Baldwin added that she has been “very
encouraged” by initial fund-raising efforts.
attacks against openly lesbian Houston Mayor Annise Parker backfire.)