Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin has defeated Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson to become the next senator from Wisconsin, according to CBS News and Fox News.

Baldwin, 50, will succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl to become America's first openly gay senator. She has been a congresswoman from Madison for 14 years and one of the most liberal members of the House.

Thompson, 70, is one of the most familiar names in Wisconsin politics. He was elected governor four times, from 1986 through 1998, and resigned in 2001 to become secretary of health and human services under President George W. Bush.