Election Results: LGBT Races to Watch
BY Michelle Garcia
November 06 2012 6:37 PM ET UPDATED: November 12 2012 4:13 PM ET
Mark Pocan — U.S. House (Wisconsin)
RESULTS: Pocan Wins
Wisconsin's second congressional district has just elected its second openly gay representative, a first in the nation.
Democrat Mark Pocan won, succeeding Tammy Baldwin, who herself made history in 1998 as the first out lesbian and first openly gay nonincumbent elected to Congress. (Before that, all openly gay U.S. House members, such as Barney Frank, had come out while already in office.) Baldwin, also a Democrat, was elected as the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate tonight.
Pocan's victory over Republican Chad Lee in the second district was largely expected. The reason for the district’s LGBT-friendliness and liberalism in general can be summed up largely in one word: Madison. The biggest city in the district, it is the state capital and home to the University of Wisconsin’s main campus. University towns are usually liberal, but Madison is intensely so. It was a center of student activism during the Vietnam War era, and one of those activists, Paul Soglin, has gone on to be elected mayor of the city seven times, most recently in 2011. Another carry-over from that era is Madison’s annual marijuana festival, held since 1971, which mixes entertainment with demonstrations calling for legalization of the drug. (Read More About The Race)