Tammy Baldwin was born in Madison, Wis. She earned a bachelor's degree at Smith College in Massachusetts and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Baldwin won election to the Dane County Board in 1986 and served four years.
She was elected to the Assembly in 1992 as the youngest woman in the Wisconsin Legislature.
She was elected to the U.S. House in 1998 and was the first openly gay person elected to Congress. She served until 2012 when she decided to leave the House and run for an open U.S. Senate seat.
Baldwin lives in Madison.
Tammy Baldwin has been somewhat of a political trailblazer as the first openly gay woman elected to Congress and the first woman elected to the U.S. House by Wisconsin voters. She proudly calls herself a liberal.
She won seven elections in a row before deciding to give up her seat, which covers the liberal city of Madison, and run statewide for the first time for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat in 2012.
Baldwin was an early supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign in 2008 but later became an ally of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. She spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention about the high cost of health care and was one of 15 honorary co-chairs for Obama's inauguration.
Baldwin voted with fellow Wisconsin Democrats in support of the 2010 health care reform bill.
She voted for the approximately $800 billion economic stimulus package in early 2009 and supported a controversial plan to build a tribal casino in Beloit, which was rejected in early 2009. She voted for a $14 billion bailout for the auto industry in December 2008.
Voters in her heavily Democratic district have not seen Baldwin's open homosexuality as an issue and have rewarded her progressive stands on the economy, war and health care by re-electing her.
When Republican candidate Ron Greer, a black minister, tried to make Baldwin's homosexuality an issue during the 1998 primary, it backfired on him and he lost the primary.
Baldwin has sponsored legislation that would guarantee universal health coverage and she's advocated federal support for embryonic stem cell research, which is thriving in her district at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She's also called for action to combat global warming and reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
Baldwin was a vocal critic of the war in Iraq and advocated for troops to leave Afghanistan. She even signed on to legislation by Rep. John Conyers in 2006, which could have forced impeachment proceedings against former President George W. Bush for allegedly manipulating prewar intelligence.
She has also been an outspoken opponent of constitutional amendments at both the state and federal level that would ban gay marriage, and she has been an advocate for domestic partner benefits.
In 2011, she joined protesters in Madison objecting to Republican Gov. Scott Walker's proposal curbing collective bargaining rights for public workers. Walker and Baldwin served together in the state Assembly in the 1990s.
Committee Assignments: Energy and Commerce
American Conservative Union Rating: 4
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 95
Tammy Baldwin is not up for re-election in 2014.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on August 14, 2014.)