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Candidate Profile from Congressional Quarterly
Tammy Baldwin (D) of Madison
- Born: February 11, 1962, Madison.
- Education: Smith College, A.B., 1984;
U. of Wisconsin, J.D., 1989.
- Military Service: None.
- Occupation: Lawyer; public policy
- Family: Single.
- Religion: Unspecified.
- Political Career: Madison City
Council, 1986; Dane County Board, 1986-94; Wis.
Baldwin says she was raised in a political family; some often wrote letters to their representatives, and others attended rallies for certain causes. It was this background, she says, that fostered her belief in an activist and responsive government.
That belief is manifested in her advocacy of universal medical insurance coverage. She has been touting a system that would work like Canada's government-sponsored, single-payer plan but notes that she probably would support "any plan that moves toward the goal of health care for all."
While she concedes that President Clinton's sweeping health care proposal flopped in Congress ÷ and that the Republican leadership has seemed uninterested in debating similar ideas ÷ Baldwin believes voters will eventually mandate such a comprehensive approach.
She takes a similar tack on education, where she contends that voters have indicated a need to focus more on young children by supporting nutrition initiatives and an expansion of the Head Start program. Baldwin also says that more schools must be wired for the Internet so that youngsters and teenagers may learn high-tech skills.
One of four lesbians to run for Congress this election cycle, Baldwin acknowledges the "historic nature of my campaign and my candidacy" but says her sexuality will not have a major influence on her agenda in the House. Rather, she stresses as a more important influence her experience in the minority in Wisconsin's Legislature, where she says she gained a reputation as a Democrat unafraid to work with the majority.
Baldwin said she is hoping for a seat on the Commerce Committee.