BIO: Who Is Tammy Baldwin?
Fox News projected Tuesday night that Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) will win the Wisconsin Senate race, beating out her Republican rival, Tommy Thompson.
Here's some background info on the 50-year-old Madison-native, who will be the first openly gay senator in U.S. history:
Born: Feb. 11, 1962; Madison, Wis.
Family: Dissolved partnership
Education: Smith College, A.B. 1984 (math & government); U. of Wisconsin, J.D. 1989
Military Service: None
Elected: 1998 (7th term)
Born and raised in Madison, home to the University of Wisconsin and a hotbed of liberalism
Raised by maternal grandparents while her mother attended the university and participated in civil rights and anti-war demonstrations.
Her grandfather was a biochemist, and her grandmother worked at the costume lab at the university theater.
Baldwin got into politics while she was still in law school. In 1986, at age 24, she won election as a Dane County supervisor.
Baldwin edged out two well-known opponents in the 1998 primary for the House. She then beat former state Insurance Commissioner Josephine Musser by 6 percentage points. In 2000, she eked out a 3-percentage-point victory over Republican John Sharpless, a history professor. She has prevailed handily since, winning with 62 percent of the vote in 2010.
Baldwin is one of the most liberal members of Congress.
Her seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee positions her well to promote her interests in health care.
She was persistent critic of President George W. Bush. A member of the Progressive Caucus, Baldwin was one of six House members who cosponsored a 2008 resolution calling for an impeachment inquiry of Bush.
Baldwin is the first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin and the first openly gay woman to win a seat in either chamber.
She exchanged marriage vows in 1998 with Lauren Azar, a lawyer, though same-sex unions are not legal in Wisconsin (their partnership was later dissolved).
With Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts, she founded the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality Caucus in 2008.
She backs legislation - bound to go nowhere in the GOP-led House - to repeal the 1996 law known as the Defense of Marriage Act.
In the 110th, Bush signed into law two health bills she had sponsored. The first, which she considers one of her most significant achievements in Congress, reauthorized and expanded a screening program for breast and cervical cancer. The second expanded benefits for veterans with impaired vision.
Note: Running for Senate
Political Highlights: Madison City Council, 1986; Dane County Board of Supervisors, 1986-94; Wis. Assembly, 1993-99; U.S. House, 1999-2013
Committees: Energy & Commerce (Environment & the Economy; Health)
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