Tammy Baldwin makes history (VIDEO)


US Senate candidate US Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) celebrates her victory over Republican candidate Tommy Thompson on election night on November 6, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin.


Darren Hauck

Tammy Baldwin made history on Tuesday night, becoming the first openly gay politician, as well as the first woman from Wisconsin, to be elected to the US Senate.

CNN said advocacy groups hailed the seven-term Democratic congresswoman's victory over former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson as a significant step toward increasing the diversity of the Senate.

The Associated Press noted that in 1998, Baldwin was the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in the House, and the first gay non-incumbent sent to Congress.

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"Baldwin has made no secret of her sexual orientation as she rose through local and state politics during the last two decades," CNN noted. She was born and raised in the Congressional district she came to represent, and her voting track record reflected a commitment to LGBT issues and diversity.

During her acceptance speech on Tuesday night, Baldwin said, "Now, I am well aware that I will have the honor of being Wisconsin's first woman senator! And I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay member! But—but I didn't run to make history. I ran to make a difference," according to ABC News.

The Huffington Post noted that besides Baldwin, other LGBT politicians also saw victory on Tuesday night, including New York's Sean Patrick Maloney who became the state's first openly gay member of Congress. Baldwin's vacated seat in the House was filled by Democrat Mark Pocan, also openly gay.

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Watch Baldwin's acceptance speech, via Yahoo News: