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Baldwin first openly gay person elected to U.S. Senate
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service
2012-11-07

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In an historic victory Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay person to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Her victory, along with the apparent wins of six out of seven openly LGBT candidates for the U.S. House, marks a new high for the number of openly LGBT members of Congress: seven. The previous high was four.

The success come against a backdrop of partisan control in the Senate and House that will remain the same as before—Democrats control the Senate and Republicans control the House.

In her acceptance speech, Baldwin acknowledged the historic nature of her win.

"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," said Baldwin.

"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, a difference in the lives veterans who fought for us and need someone fighting for them and their families when they return home from war, a difference in the lives of entrepreneurs trying to build a business and working people trying to build some economic security," said Baldwin.

The six other victors Tuesday night were incumbent Democratic Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado and David Cicilline of Rhode Island. Joining them will be two new members of the House—Mark Pocan, who won Baldwin's seat from Wisconsin, and Sean Maloney of New York. And as of Friday morning, Democrat Mark Takano still topped the results with a 13-point lead in his race for the House seat representing the 41st Congressional district of California, according to the Secretary of State's website.

Also Friday morning, the Arizona Secretary of State's website showed all precincts counted in Congressional District 9, and openly bisexual Arizona State Senator Krysten Sinema with a 3,842-vote lead over Republican opponent Vernon Parker. If Sinema, 36, is certified the winner, she'll represent Tempe, Mesa, and Scottsdale and become the first openly bisexual candidate to win a seat to Congress.

The only loss among openly gay Congressional candidates Tuesday night was Republican Richard Tisei, who lost a very close race against Democratic incumbent John Tierney in Massachusetts.


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