Tammy Baldwin was elected to the United States Senate in 2012, becoming Wisconsin's first woman senator and the nation's first openly gay politician to be elected to the Senate. A Wisconsin native, Baldwin earned her college degree at Smith College in Massachusetts in 1984, then returned to Madison and got active in local politics. She served four terms as Dane County's Supervisor (1986-94), during which time she earned a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School (1989). She was elected to Wisconsin's state assembly in 1992 and served three terms, before being elected as a United States Congresswoman in 1998. A liberal Democrat, Baldwin won re-election for seven terms in the House, and built her legislative record on civil rights and health care issues (she spoke about health care issues at the 2004 Democratic national convention). Baldwin ran against Republican Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor, in 2012 for an open Senate seat, and, after a bitter campaign that gained national headlines, defeated Thompson on 7 November 2012.
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