Today, in an email to supporters, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) announced the expected news that she will be running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.). Baldwin would be the first out LGBT senator in U.S. history.
In a video posted to YouTube, Baldwin names both Kohl and former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) — who announced he is not running for the seat — as people whose work she has echoed in her time in Congress.
In the email, she said, “I can’t wait to take my fight to the Senate: a fight to grow our economy, protect seniors, force Wall Street to clean up its act, and bring our troops home from Afghanistan. And I can’t wait to see you on the trail as we bring our campaign to every corner of Wisconsin.”
In its online statement about her bid, the Victory Fund notes, “Tammy is still the only out lesbian ever to serve in Congress, so you can bet anti-gay extremists will be working overtime to keep her from winning. But every time they attack, we’ll be there to help Tammy fight back, and we need you standing with us too.”
Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement, “Tammy Baldwin’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate is monumental for both the state of Wisconsin and the country’s LGBT community. Tammy has proven herself as an effective legislator over the course of her 13 years in Congress and this campaign will be a top priority for the Human Rights Campaign.”
As noted by Talking Points Memo, “Already in the race on the Republican side is former Rep. Mark Neumann, who narrowly lost the Senate race in 1998 and ran unsuccessfully in last year’s Republican primary for governor, and has the support of the right-wing Club For Growth. Also set to get in the race are former Gov. Tommy Thompson, and state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.”