Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Brody's Notes... Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin Declares Run For Senate

U. S. Representative Tammy Baldwin
Official House Portrait
By Brody Levesque | MADISON, WISCONSIN -- Democratic U. S. Representative Tammy Baldwin has declared her candidacy for a U.S. Senate seat in her home state of Wisconsin Tuesday morning. The seat is being vacated by fellow Democrat, Senator Herb Kohl, who had announced this past May that he would be retiring. Baldwin is the first Democrat to officially announce her intent.
Khol's seat is one of at least eight open spots that could determine a shift of power in the Senate, where the GOP needs to pick up just four seats to become the majority party in control.
The Congresswoman made her announcement in an email and video announcement to supporters early Tuesday, and if elected, she would become the first openly gay member of the Senate.
She is the first woman elected, as well openly gay non-incumbent, to be elected to the House of Representatives from the state of Wisconsin. For fifteen years, her domestic partner was Lauren Azar, until the couple separated in 2010. She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
According to a survey conducted by the nonpartisan National Journal, Baldwin's voting and legislative record is considered one of the most progressive in the House.
In today's message to her supporters, Baldwin attempted to portray herself moving to the political center by positioning herself as the best candidate for middle-class voters feeling squeezed in the tough economy.
"It’s time politicians looked out for seniors, working families and the middle class — instead of protecting the profits of big oil and Wall Street," she said.
Baldwin also used her video message to mention her opposition to the war in Iraq and her support for ending the war in Afghanistan, as well as to hint at the obstacles her candidacy will face as she seeks to win her first statewide election.
"I’m used to facing challenges head on," she said. "When I first ran for Congress in 1998, people counted me out. But we worked hard, campaigned across south-central Wisconsin, and we won."
Political analysts are certain that the Republicans will attack Baldwin’s liberal House voting record, hoping to sway the independent and moderate voters in Wisconsin, a state that has swung between giving Barack Obama a 14-point win in the 2008 presidential race and kicking Democrats out of power in the Statehouse during the 2010 contests.