MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

State Assemblyman Mark Pocan has won the U.S. House race for Wisconsin's 2nd District, keeping the Madison-area seat with Democrats.

The seat was held by Tammy Baldwin for seven terms, but she gave it up to run for the U.S. Senate.

Pocan defeated Republican challenger Chad Lee on Tuesday. But the election outcome wasn't all that surprising because the district, which covers Madison and its surrounding areas, is reliably Democratic.

Like Baldwin, Pocan is openly gay and has championed greater rights for gays and women. He has also served as a co-chairman of the Assembly's Joint Finance Committee, which he credits for giving him valuable experience in writing budgets.

Baldwin had held the seat since 1998.