Former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D) endorsed Tammy Baldwin’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.
“I’m proud to throw my support to a candidate who will keep the fight for progress, the middle class and equality alive in the U.S. Senate: our good friend, Tammy Baldwin,” Feingold said in an email to supporters.
Baldwin, who is currently representing Wisconsin’s 2nd district in the U.S. House, is running for the seat to be vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI). The 76-year-old senator announced in May that he would not seek reelection to a fifth term in the Senate, saying that it’s “time for someone else to serve.”
Feingold’s name had been floated as a Democratic contender, but he announced in August that he would not seek public office.
“I know Tammy has the values, the vision, and the guts to be a force for the middle class in the U.S. Senate,” Feingold added. “We stood together against going to war in Iraq. And nearly 10 years before the financial collapse, we fought the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. These commonsense rules of the road prevented Wall Street and the big banks from making risky investments, and the end of those safeguards led to our economic crisis.”
If Baldwin won, she would be the first openly gay U.S. senator. She became the first openly gay candidate to win election to the U.S. Congress in 1998.
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said her candidacy would be a “remarkable milestone for LGBT Americans.”
But Baldwin has insisted that she did not want her senatorial campaign to revolve around her sexuality but around her capability as a leader.
She is the only Democrat to have declared her candidacy for the seat.