Tammy Baldwin Wins a Seat in the Wisconsin Assembly
In 1992, Tammy Baldwin, a strong progressive, ran for a seat in the Wisconsin Assembly, becoming one of six out LGBTQ officials to win that year. She won her third re-election in 1996 with 71 percent of the vote. During her campaigns, she often cited anthropologist Margaret Mead saying, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
In 1998, Baldwin was elected to Congress as Wisconsin’s first woman and first out LGBTQ representative. A hard worker, Baldwin authored an amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allowed young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until the age of 26, an important element of Obamacare that became law in 2010.
Healthcare was one reason Baldwin ran for office, having lacked health insurance as a child and "battling a serious illness, feeling that no family should have to go through what ours did." Baldwin says her two passions are “equality and health care for all,” something she grappled with when the HIV/AIDS crisis hit Dane County.
In 2012, Baldwin made American history when she became the first out LGBTQ person elected to the U.S. Senate, with strong bundling and campaign support from Victory Fund. Baldwin was named to the Senate Democratic leadership after the 2016 elections.
“I often describe how, in the early days of meeting with our elected officials, we were more of a support group,” Baldwin says. “Today it’s a professional networking organization that is helping one another to be more effective and successful in fighting discrimination and injustice and forming broad coalitions with others doing the same on behalf of other communities. Victory Fund has made all of that possible.”