Baldwin_AS

ANDREW SCHORR/Herald photo

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, beat out Republican challenger Peter Theron Tuesday to keep her seat in the House of Representatives.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Baldwin won with 70 percent of the vote.

Baldwin was elected for her sixth term as the representative of Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses all of Dane County and a population of nearly 700,000.

She celebrated her win with other prominent Democrats at a Monona Terrace event where she gave her victory speech. Other attendees included Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Gov. Jim Doyle.

While the focus of Baldwin’s speech centered on Barack Obama’s victory in the presidential race, she also thanked the crowd for supporting her re-election and laid out her goals for her next term.

Baldwin listed universal health care, energy independence, ending the war in Iraq and creating high-paying local jobs as her priorities moving forward. Baldwin said after her speech she believes Congress will be more productive with a new president.

“There are a number of things the last president vetoed,” Baldwin said. “We’re going to have a lot greater success rate on issues like energy independence, climate change and health care for all of America.”

Baldwin told The Badger Herald she wants to prioritize “issues that can strengthen our economy,” saying “we are on very shaky ground right now.” She added she will be “focusing on a new breed economy with a new energy infrastructure.”

Baldwin also praised her opponent for running a clean campaign that avoided mudslinging.

“We had very different ideas and there were stark contrasts, but I was very pleased that we didn’t have one of those negative campaigns,” Baldwin said.

Theron gave a short concession speech to a crowd of about 70 people at the City Center West building.

He said Congressional spending was “out of control” and called the $700 billion bailout plan a “joke.”

“Congress went ahead and did that anyway,” Theron said. “Congress is not being particularly responsive. They’re not representing. They’re off in their own little world.”

Theron also mentioned the $4 per gallon gasoline experienced this past summer twice during his short speech while talking about the suffering economy and how America needs to increase offshore drilling to increase oil production.

After the speech, Theron said he was excited by the results of the election despite his loss. He said he is happy with the response he got considering he started in May with no name recognition.

“I certainly will consider running in the future,” Theron said. “Essentially, part of this run is to increase my name recognition and with that as the case I will move forward. Certainly I will keep a more public profile.”

Theron added he hopes Baldwin will recognize her constituent demographic is changing and will consider more conservative viewpoints.

“I think that she needs to be more representative of this district,” Theron said. “This is not as liberal a district as people thought it was. She needs to start considering that in terms of her positions and in terms of her votes.”

— Alex Brousseau contributed to this report.