GOP Retakes Full Control of Wis. State Gov., Baldwin Wins US Senate Seat

Updated: 11/07/2012 12:04 PM By: Michelle Knoll

Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin has won Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat.
Baldwin defeated former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson on Tuesday for a seat that's been held by Democrats since 1957. With the victory, Baldwin also becomes the first openly gay candidate to win election to the Senate.
The seven-term congresswoman from Madison built her campaign around the argument that the 70-year-old Thompson no longer spoke for Wisconsin residents.
Baldwin noted that the four-term governor, who hadn't been on a ballot in 14 years, made millions of dollars in the private sector off connections he made while governor and U.S. health secretary.
Thompson had attacked Baldwin as too liberal for Wisconsin, focusing on her position on health care reform.
His defeat marks Thompson's first ever loss in a statewide election.

Meanwhile, Republicans won the majority in both the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly, retaking control of state government.

Republicans gained control of the governor's office, the Senate and the Assembly in 2010. But Democrats wrested control of the Senate from them in June's recall elections.
Democrats had forced Republican Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four GOP senators into the recalls as payback for Walker's law that stripped most public workers of nearly all their union rights.

The Associated Press contributed to this story