Kyrsten Sinema Declared Winner in Arizona Senate Race – The New York Times
Kyrsten Sinema made a stop at America’s Taco Shop in Phoenix on Election Day.
— Representative Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat and former social worker, scored a groundbreaking victory in the race for a Senate seat in Arizona, defeating her Republican opponent after waging a campaign in which she embraced solidly centrist positions.Ms. Sinema’s victory over Martha McSally, a Republican
congresswoman and former Air Force pilot, marks the first Democratic triumph since 1976 in a battle for an open Senate seat in Arizona. Ms. Sinema takes the seat being vacated by Jeff Flake, a Republican who is leaving the Senate after repeated clashes with President Trump.
Ms. Sinema’s victory guarantees the Democrats at least 47 Senate seats. Republicans control 51, with two still undecided: Florida, where there is a recount, and Mississippi, where there is a runoff.
The outcome in Arizona had been too close to call for nearly a week, as large numbers of early and mailed ballots were counted. Ms. Sinema had trailed slightly in initial tallies on Election Day, but later counting put her ahead by a growing margin. On Monday, The Associated Press called the race and Ms. McSally conceded.
In a statement on Facebook Monday night, Ms. Sinema pointedly struck a nonpartisan note as she pledged to continue working in government to “find common ground.”
“That’s the same approach I’ll take to representing our great state in the Senate, where I’ll be an independent voice for all Arizonans,” she wrote.
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The victory by Ms. Sinema points to a remarkable shift in Arizona’s political landscape.
The state was a Republican bastion for decades, but Democrats are seizing on dissatisfaction with budget cuts and growing unease over the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown to make inroads with moderate voters.With Ms. Sinema’s triumph,
Democrats now hold six seats in the state’s Congressional delegation, and the Republicans five. The Democrats have not had a majority in the delegation since the 1960s.Voter drives to register more Latinos, who generally vote Democratic in Arizona, appear to have paid off for Ms. Sinema.
About 2.1 million Latinos live in Arizona, about one-third of the state’s population. Though Mr. Trump narrowly carried the state in the 2016 election.
Many Latinos in Arizona have expressed displeasure with the president
Ms. Sinema started out in politics as a liberal activist and spokeswoman for the Green Party.
She shifted to the center after winning a seat in the House of Representatives in 2012, and she has since drawn criticism from some on the left for siding with Mr. Trump and other Republicans on some legislation.See How Close the Results Are in Arizona, Georgia and Florida.
Well here we go again: Ms. Sinema is openly bisexual, and has spoken about facing bullying as a child because of her sexuality.Ms. Sinema, 42, won the race by about 1.7 percentage points amid increasing partisan tension.
Trump, claimed without offering proof that voting officials were engaged in fraudulent strategies to bolster Ms. Sinema, as the authorities struggled to count ballots following a surge in turnout.Michele Reagan, a Republican and the Arizona Secretary of State, dismissed those claims. She said it took time to count the hundreds of thousands of early ballots that were dropped off on Election Day at polling stations, after which county officials had to verify the signature on.
Ms. Sinema easily outperformed Ms. McSally in her rival’s own congressional d. Sinema joined the Blue Dog Coalition, the most conservative group of House Democrats, and sometimes angered progressives, including immigration activists, by refusing to meet with them.Unlike other prominent Democrats in the state, Ms. Sinema also refused to back