(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) defeated former governor Tommy Thompson (R) and will take Wisconsin's open Senate seat.

Baldwin will take over for retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D); she will be Wisconsin's first female senator and the country's first openly gay senator. But, she told supporters at a party in Madison, "I didn't run to make history.  I ran to make a difference." 

She reached out to her opponent and his supporters, promising to represent all Wisconsinites. "Tommy and I didn't agree on much in this campaign but there can be no doubt that he shares my love for Wisconsin," she said. "And even at the end of a long and sometimes bitter campaign, I’m still grateful for his service to our state." 

Baldwin's win was part of several key ones for Senate Democrats that will help them retain their majority. More on her race from The Fix