Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)

U.S. Senator (since January 2013)

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Why She Matters

Baldwin was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2012, becoming the first openly gay person to be elected to the upper chamber of Congress.

When Baldwin was elected to represent Wisconsin's 2nd district, she became the first woman from Wisconsin, the first openly gay non-incumbent and the first out lesbian elected to Congress.

The issue Baldwin has wanted to be defined by is health care. A champion of universal health care since her days as a state legislator, Baldwin has offered several health-care reform proposals before voting for Democrats' edition enacted in March 2010. In addition to health care, she has been a vocal opponent of the Iraq war.

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22 reasons why Congressional spring breakers are just like you

Foodstagrams aren’t illegal if you are elected to Congress, apparently.

Senate race still undecided in Wisconsin

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) beat former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson (R) for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Herb Kohl.

Democrat Tammy Baldwin wins Wisconsin Senate race

The race pitted a moderate former four-term governor with a woman aiming to be the first openly gay U.S. senator.

Toss-up elections are a 501(c)(4)’s best friend

Looking back at the 2012 senate elections

Voters dont care that Tammy Baldwin is gay

Tammy Baldwin could be Wisconsin's first openly gay Senator, but voters don't make much of the milestone.

Tammy Baldwin wins Wisconsin Senate race

She will be Wisconsin’s first female senator and the country’s first openly gay senator.

Tammy Baldwin links Tommy Thompson to Scott Walker

In her speech to the Democratic National Convention, Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin repeatedly linked her opponent this in this fall's Senate race, former governor Tommy Thompson, to her state's current polarizing leader, Gov. Scott Walker.


At a Glance

  • Career History: Wisconsin Assembly (1992-1998); Dane County Board of Supervisors (1986-1994)
  • Birthday: February 11, 1962
  • Hometown: Madison, Wis.
  • Alma Mater: University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 1989; Smith College, A.B., 1984
  • Spouse : N/A
  • Committees: Energy and Commerce
  • DC Office: 2446 Rayburn Building, 202-225-2906
  • District Offices: Beloit, 608-362-2800; Madison, 608-258-9800
  • Website

Path To Power

Born in 1962 in Madison, Wis., Baldwin was raised by her grandparents because her mother, a University of Wisconsin student who attended protest rallies in the 1960s, was addicted to prescription drugs.

Baldwin's political exposure came early, with her grandparents valuing both voting and contacting elected officials. In middle school, Baldwin served on a school committee to improve relations with homeowners near her school.

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The Issues

Baldwin has consistently rated among the most liberal House members, according to analysis by the National Journal. As of August 2010, Baldwin voted with the majority of House Democrats 97.5 percent of the time during the 111th Congress (2009-2011).

Baldwin supported the climate change bill that included provisions for cap-and-trade measures for lowering emissions and passed the House in June 2009. Baldwin used her perch on the House Energy and Commerce panel to convince fellow lawmakers to vote for the bill. She said she viewed the bill as a way to reform the Midwest's economy by gaining new manufacturing jobs in a "green economy."

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The Network

Among Baldwin's close congressional friends is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Baldwin co-chairs the House Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality Caucus with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who is also gay.


Additional Resources

  1. "H.R. 233"
  2. "GAY-RIGHTS CAUCUS FORMED" Wisconsin State Journal, June 7, 2008
  4. Almanac of American Politics
  5. Mayers, Jeff, "BALDWIN WINS; TIGHT GOP RACE HAS 3 OUT FRONT" Wisconsin State Journal, Sept. 9, 1998
  6. Walters, Stevens, "Baldwin's bailout vote criticized" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 11, 2008
  7. Marrero, Diana, "Dems seek repeal of marriage law" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 15, 2009
  8. "Floor Statement on Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'" May 27, 2010
  9. Pitsch, Mark, "Baldwin's long fight for health care reform" Wisconsin State Journal, Aug. 31, 2009
  10. Nylen, Leah, "Tammy's Time: Baldwin Gains Stature With House Dems in Majority" The Capital Times, May 8, 2007
  11. Nichols, John, "For Baldwin, more work to do for real reform" The Capital Times, March 23, 2010
  12. Marrero, Diana, "fl" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 21, 2009
  13. Analeed, Ashtar, "BALDWIN: AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE NO. 1 WOE" The Capital Times, May 4, 2005
  14. "LGBT Equality"
  15. Baldwin, Tammy, "Impeachment resolution a matter of accountability" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 20, 2008
  17. Nichols, John, "BALDWIN GOT INSPIRATION FROM FERRARO 20 YEARS AGO" The Capital Times, July 26, 2004
  18. "Rep. Baldwin separates from longtime partner" The Associated Press, May 28, 2010
  19. Pommer, Matt, "BALDWIN: STATE SHOULD LEGALIZE GAY MARRIAGES" The Capital Times, June 16, 1995
  20. Gilbert, Craig, "Congress wrestles with war policies role" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 10, 2007
  21. Eleveld, Kerry, "Hearing Held on Partner Benefits Bill," Advocate, July 9, 2009
  22. National Journal, Almanac of American Politics 2008
  23. "2009 House Ratings" National Journal, Feb. 27, 2010
  24. O'Connor, Patrick and David Rogers, "Pentagon balked on gay partner travel" Politico, April 1, 2008
  25. "Washington Post Votes Database"
  26. Marrero, Diana, "Baldwin, Kohl target railroads" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 1, 2008
  27. Baldwin's website, Biography