Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Baldwin beat out former Governor Tommy Thompson for the hotly contested Wisconsin seat. "I am well aware that I will have the honor of being Wisconsin's first woman senator!" she told supporters. "And I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay member."

Baldwin, who is a distant cousin to comedian and Saturday Night Live vet Andy Samberg, was first elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1992 and became that body's first openly lesbian member. She was elected to Congreess from the state’s second congressional district in 1998. In Congress, she was a fierce opponent of the Iraq War and sponsored a bill to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. During the health-care fight, Baldwin supported a Canadian-style "single-payer" system.

She had been in a relationship with her domestic partner Lauren Azar for 15 years until they separated in 2010.

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