Tammy Baldwin said her victory in Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race was driven by voters' concerns about the economy, and she intends to work on pursuing an agenda to strengthen manufacturing both in Wisconsin and nationwide during her first year in office.
Baldwin defeated Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson in Tuesday's election by more than 5 points based on unofficial results. She spoke about the race Wednesday in interviews with various news organizations.
Baldwin described Tuesday night's win as an intense moment, where victory and history crossed the Senate finish line together.
"The energy in the room was palpable, and I think so many there had worked so hard because they care about the future of this state. They knew how high the stakes were in this presidential race and in this U.S. Senate race," Baldwin said. "This was a very historic race in that Wisconsin chose me to trust with those significant challenges, and I'm looking forward and ready to do that."
Baldwin's election breaks two barriers as she becomes the first openly gay candidate and the first Wisconsin woman elected to U.S. Senate.
Baldwin said she ran not to make history but to make a difference with a balanced approach to the nation's challenges.
"And we have to have an approach that doesn't burden or saddle only the middle class and seniors and veterans with the responsibility of meeting those challenges. For everyone to get a fair shot, everyone has to do their fair share," Baldwin said.
One of the first things Baldwin would like to do in the Senate is bring together all the industrial state senators together to create what she calls a robust manufacturing agenda. She said she'd like to keep U.S. manufacturing plants open and prevent those jobs from going overseas.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said he spoken with Democratic Sen.-elect Tammy Baldwin and congratulated her on her victory in Tuesday's election.
Johnson said Wednesday he wants to sit down with Baldwin and discuss areas where they can agree as they prepare to represent Wisconsin together in the U.S. Senate. But Johnson said he agrees that they are about as polar opposite politically as could be.
Johnson is a tea party Republican elected in 2010.
Baldwin said voters sent a message Tuesday that they are tired of gridlock in Washington with her victory and by re-electing President Barack Obama.