Wisconsin’s Democratic senator cites her record of fighting for women’s healthcare rights and working families in her announcement.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Wednesday announced that she will seek a third term in the US Senate next year, ending speculation about her future plans.
“I’m committed to making sure that working people, not just the big corporations and ultra-wealthy, have a fighter on their side,” Baldwin said in a statement. “With so much at stake, from families struggling with rising costs to a ban on reproductive freedom, Wisconsinites need someone who can fight and win.”
Baldwin, 60, won her first local race to the Dane County Board of Supervisors at age 24 and in 1998 won a seat in the US House, the first-ever woman Wisconsin voters sent to Congress. Baldwin was elected to her current post in 2012, making her Wisconsin’s first female senator and the first openly gay member elected to the US Senate. She was reelected in 2018.
In her previous races, Baldwin solidified Democratic support while attracting independent voters with a broadly appealing message that she was looking out for the best interests of everyone in the state. In her campaign announcement, Baldwin emphasized her work with Republicans and Democrats on legislation to promote “Made in America” manufacturing, reduce prescription drug prices for medications such as insulin, and expand health care for veterans.
Baldwin also cited her long record of supporting women’s reproductive freedom, including her sponsorship of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill which would codify the reproductive protections that existed under Roe v. Wade. Polling consistently shows a solid, bipartisan majority of Wisconsinites support a woman’s right to abortion, and the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe last year has fueled higher turnout among voters—helping Democrats in recent elections, including last week’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election.
Baldwin herself won a major legislative victory last year, when her bill to codify certain protections for same-sex and interracial marriages was signed into federal law in December. The passage of the “Respect for Marriage Act” means those protections, which were guaranteed by previous Supreme Court rulings, cannot be repealed by a future decision from the justices.
Last year, Baldwin also helped expand healthcare coverage to veterans who were exposed to burn pits in war zones and later faced potentially fatal health issues.
Baldwin has further spoken out on the need to protect voting rights for Americans. And she has spent years trying to rein in the kind of hedge fund vulturism that has led to the closings of Wisconsin paper mills and other manufacturers.
The six-year cycle of a senator’s term means Baldwin will run in a presidential election year, when turnout on both sides is likely to be high. No potential Republican challengers have emerged beyond rumor mill status.
GOP leaders have tried to portray Baldwin as too liberal for a state that last year reelected Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, one of the Senate’s most conservative members.
But Baldwin, despite embracing policies like “Medicare for All,” has been able to win over key swing voters in the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.