Wisconsin Elects First Openly Gay Senator

by InvestorPlace Staff | November 7, 2012 10:25 pm

[1]In a night filled with other historic firsts for gay advocates[2], Wisconsin made some history of its own, by electing the first openly gay politician to the U.S. Senate[3].

Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who has served seven terms as a U.S. Representative, defeated her Republican opponent, former Gov. Tommy Thompson. It was a narrow victory, according to CNN, who projected her winning 51% of the vote.

It was something of a comeback victory for Baldwin, who was first seen as a long shot to win the Senate seat. It quickly turned into a battle, though, with the two sides spending an estimated $65 million in the most expensive Senate election[4] in Wisconsin history. Baldwin replaces retiring Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl.

Perhaps more notable than the fact that Baldwin is the first openly gay politician elected to the Senate is the amount of attention that was paid to her sexuality during the election: little[5]. It never came up on the campaign trail, with the election focusing on their general political philosophies.

As it turned out, Baldwin’s progressive political beliefs were enough to defeat Thompson’s conservativism, and allow her to punch a ticket to the Senate and to history.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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  2. historic firsts for gay advocates: https://investorplace.com/investorpolitics/historic-votes-for-gay-marriage-marijuana/
  3. openly gay politician to the U.S. Senate: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/politics/wisconsin-tammy-baldwin-senate/index.html
  4. most expensive Senate election: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-07/news/sns-rt-us-usa-campaign-wisconsin-senatebre8a60by-20121106_1_governor-tommy-thompson-tammy-baldwin-expensive-senate-race
  5. little: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/10/tammy_baldwin_may_be_the_first_openly_gay_u_s_senator_and_no_one_considers.html

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