When Tammy Baldwin is sworn in later this week, she will become both Wisconsin and the Senate’s first openly-gay senator. Her win was historic for Democrats—she beat four-term Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson in a state that two years earlier had voted to uphold a ban on gay marriage.
Baldwin isn’t new to Capitol Hill: She served in the House of Representatives for more than a decade and has one of the most liberal voting records in Congress, but will lend her vocal support of women’s rights and anti-war record to the Senate floor. She has already secured a prestigious position on the Senate Budget Committee.
“I’m well aware that I will have the honor to be the first woman senator from Wisconsin. And I’m well aware that I will be the first openly gay member of the United States Senate,” Baldwin said in her acceptance speech on election night.
“I didn’t run to make history,” she said. “I ran to make a difference.”