Baldwin’s victory makes her the first openly gay candidate elected to the U.S. Senate.
“Tammy Baldwin’s victory showed what a majority of Americans already know: that candidates should be judged on their qualifications for the job and not their sexual orientation,” said Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
In an interview with the Guardian, Baldwin said, “If you are not in the room, the conversation is about you. If you are in the room, the conversation is with you. We never had an openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate, and even though there are strong pro-equality allies who serve there, it has always been a conversation about a group of people. So this changes everything.”
Excerpt from Tammy Baldwin’s election night remarks:
Tonight, at the end of a long and hard-fought campaign, we have won a huge victory for Wisconsin’s middle class!
That’s what this has been about since I started this journey 14 months ago. Everywhere I’ve gone in our beautiful state, people have told me that they want a Senator who will listen to the middle class when they need help, a Senator who will stand on the side of the middle class, a Senator who will wake up every morning and fight for the middle class.
They’ve told me that they want an economy in which everybody plays by the same rules, and everybody does their fair share.
They’ve told me that they want a level playing field, one where China can’t cheat our workers, millionaires can’t dodge taxes, and Wall Street can’t crash our economy with risky gambling.
They’ve told me that they want to pay down our debt without shortchanging our future.
They’ve told me that they want to be able to rely on the guarantees of Medicare and Social Security – not just today, but for generations to come.
Most of all, they’ve told me that the special interests have too much power in Washington – and that it’s time the people’s voice was heard.
Well, the people’s voice was heard tonight, Wisconsin – and come January, your voice will be heard in the United States Senate!
I am honored, and humbled, and grateful. And I am ready to get to work. Ready to stand with President Barack Obama. Ready to fight for Wisconsin’s middle class!
Now, 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.
I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference – a difference in the lives of families struggling to find work and pay the bills, a difference in the lives of students worried about debt and seniors worried about their retirement security…
But in choosing me to tackle those challenges, the people of Wisconsin have made history. And I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the trust you have placed in me. All I can do is work as hard as I can to keep that trust.
I know many of the people listening tonight may not have voted for me, but I want you to know I will stand up for you and I ask for your support in moving our state forward together.
Here’s the promise I want to make to you: I will be a Senator for all of Wisconsin.
- LGBT milestone: Tammy Baldwin first openly gay U.S. senator (timesunion.com)
- LGBT milestone: Tammy Baldwin first openly gay U.S. senator (seattlepi.com)
- Wisconsin’s Baldwin becomes first openly gay senator (reuters.com)