ENG: Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin (born February 11, 1962) is the junior United States Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. She previously served as the U.S. Representative from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district from 1999 to 2013, as well as serving 3 terms in the Wisconsin Assembly representing the 78th district.
Baldwin defeated her Republican opponent, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, in the 2012 U.S. Senate election. She is the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in the Senate, and the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history.
As of 2012, Baldwin's voting record placed her as one of the most liberal in congress.
Early life, education, and early political career
Baldwin was born and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, the daughter of Pamela (née Green) and Joseph Edward Baldwin. She was raised by her mother and her maternal grandparents. Her maternal grandfather was Jewish (the son of immigrants from Russia and Germany), and her maternal grandmother, who was Anglican, was English-born. Baldwin graduated from Madison West High School in 1980 as the class valedictorian. She earned a B.A.
degree from Smith College in 1984 and a J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989. She practiced law between 1989-1992.
Baldwin was first elected to political office in 1986 when she was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, a position that she held until 1994. She also served for one year on the Madison City Council to fill a vacancy in the coterminous district.
For fifteen years, her domestic partner was Lauren Azar, until the couple separated in 2010. In 2009, the couple had registered as domestic partners in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Assembly (1993–1999) - Elections
In 1992, she ran for Wisconsin's 78th Assembly District.
She won the Democratic primary with a plurality of 43% of the vote. In the general election, she defeated Mary Kay Baum (Labor and Farm party nominee) and Patricia Hevenor (Republican party nominee) 59%-23%-17%. She was one of just six openly gay political candidates nationwide to win a general election in 1992.
In 1994, she won re-election to a second term with 76% of the vote. In 1996, she won re-election to a third term with 71% of the vote.
She was the first openly lesbian member of the Wisconsin Assembly and was one of the very few openly gay politicians in the country at the time. In 1993, Baldwin said she was disappointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton's compromise on LGBT rights by supporting don't ask, don't tell policy of the military.
In early 1994, she proposed legalizing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin. In 1995, she proposed domestic partnerships in Wisconsin.
Baldwin opposed capital punishment in Wisconsin.
U.S. House of Representatives (1999–2013) - Elections
In 1998, U.S. Congressman Scott Klug of the 2nd District, based in Madison, announced he would retire, prompting Baldwin to run for the seat. She won the Democratic primary with a plurality of 37% of the vote.
In the general election, she defeated Republican nominee Josephine Musser 53%-47%.
Baldwin was the first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin. She was also the first openly gay non-incumbent elected to the House of Representatives.
In 2000, she won re-election to a second term, defeating Republican John Sharpless 51%-49%, a difference of 8,902 votes. While she lost eight of the district's nine counties, she carried the largest, Dane County, with 55 percent of the vote--enough to give her the victory.
After the 2000 census, the 2nd District was made significantly more Democratic in redistricting. Baldwin won re-election to a third term in the newly redrawn 2nd district with 66% of the vote against Republican Ron Greer. In 2004, she beat Dave Magnum 63%-37%. She won a 2006 rematch against Magnum, again winning 63%-37%. In 2008, she won 69%-31% against Peter Theron. She won re-election to a seventh term with 62% of the vote against Chad Lee.
U.S. Senate (2013–present) - 2012 election
Baldwin ran as the Democratic nominee against Republican nominee Tommy Thompson, who had formerly been governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services. She announced her candidacy on September 6, 2011, in a video emailed to supporters. She ran uncontested in the primary election, and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention about tax policy, campaign finance reform, and equality in the United States.
She was endorsed by Democracy for America, and she received campaign funding from EMILY's List, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and LPAC. Baldwin was endorsed by the editorial board of The Capital Times, who wrote that "Baldwin's fresh ideas on issues ranging from job creation to health care reform, along with her proven record of working across lines of partisanship and ideology, and her grace under pressure mark her as precisely the right choice to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl."
The candidates had three debates, on September 28, October 18, and October 26. According to Baldwin's Federal Election Commission filings, she raised about $12 million, over $5 million more than her opponent.
On November 6, 2012, Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Because she served for fourteen years in the House of Representatives, under Senate rules she will have the highest seniority in her entering class of senators.
The senator was featured on Time's November 19th Edition in the Verbatim section where she was quoted, "I didn't run to make history" on her historical election. In a seperate section, she was also mentioned as a new face to watch in the Senate.
February 8, 2013