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America’s First and Only Openly LGBTQ Senator Wins Reelection

LGBTQ people in Wisconsin can breathe a little easier tonight.

The state’s out lesbian lawmaker, Tammy Baldwin, is projected to win re-election to the U.S. Senate as ballots began to be counted on Tuesday evening. The Associated Press predicts Baldwin will beat Republican Leah Vukmir in one of the country’s most expensive races.

Republicans spent more than $10 million to unseat Baldwin, the first openly LGBTQ representative to the Senate. She was also the out openly queer candidate to win election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Vukmir, in contrast, was backed by anti-LGBTQ hate groups like the Family Research Council.

In a statement, the LGBTQ Victory Fund celebrated Baldwin’s victory in a race many predicted could be a spoiler. The advocacy group, which supports queer and trans candidates seeking public office, called her win “among the LGBTQ political community’s highest priorities.”

“[T]o see this champion of equality handily defeat her anti-LGBTQ opponent is phenomenal,” said LGBTQ Victory Fund President and CEO Annise Parker.

“Six years ago, Senator Baldwin became a historic first and redefined what is possible for an LGBTQ candidate seeking a career in public service, and tonight’s victory provides a different but equally important political lesson,” she added. “It proves that an out LGBTQ candidate who unapologetically uses their political power to fight for equality can be re-elected statewide in the era of Trump, even in a state that Trump won.”

President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by .7 percent in 2016, which is a little over 22,000 votes.

Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images


Nico Lang

Nico Lang is a staff writer for INTO, covering news, politics, and global LGBTQ issues.