Tammy Baldwin has served as a U.S. Senator for Wisconsin since November 2012, becoming the first openly gay U.S. Senator and first female Senator from Wisconsin. A Smith College alumni, her public service career began in 1986 at the age of 24 when she was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, representing Madison's downtown area. Baldwin earned a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and went on to practice law and serve on the Wisconsin Assembly. In 1998, Baldwin defeated Republican candidate Josephine Musser for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first woman from Wisconsin to serve in Congress. After serving more than a decade in the House, Baldwin won her seat on the Senate. She has become known for her strong support of LGBT rights and universal health care, among other issues.