Posted at: 11/06/2012 11:39 PM
Updated at: 11/07/2012 3:43 PM
By: SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - 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.
Baldwin says economy drove her win
Tammy Baldwin says her victory in Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race was driven by voters' concerns about the economy, and she intends to work on pursuing an agenda to strengthen manufacturing both in Wisconsin and nationwide during her first year in office.
Baldwin spoke about the race Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. She says voters also sent a message that they are tired of gridlock in Washington with her victory and by re-electing President Barack Obama.
Johnson, Baldwin talk
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says he's spoken with Baldwin and congratulated her on her victory in Tuesday's election.
Johnson said Wednesday that he wants to sit down with Baldwin and discuss areas where they can agree as they prepare to represent Wisconsin together in the U.S. Senate.
But Johnson acknowledges that he and Baldwin are about as polar opposite politically as could be.
Johnson is a tea party Republican elected in 2010. Baldwin is a liberal Democrat and the first openly gay candidate ever elected to the Senate.
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