Kyrsten Sinema flipped the Senate seat in Arizona and achieved a historic political triumph. Beating her Republican opponent, Martha McSally, Sinema, 42, will become the first Democrat to win an open Senate seat in Arizona since the 1976, The New Yorker reported. She will also become the first women to represent Arizona in the Senate.
“Sinema is the single best politician in Arizona today,” said Stan Barnes, a longtime Republican strategist in Phoenix. “She has a magnetism that can win people over.”
Winning by 1.7 percentage points – close to 38,000 votes – her strategy was one of a conservative Democrat, who attracted not just Republicans, but independent voters in a changing state.
“Sinema focused on issues that matter to suburban voters whether they’re Republican or Democrat: health care, veterans and education,” Kris Mayes, a professor of practice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and a former Republican appointee to the Arizona Corporation Commission, said.
Sinema, who considers herself bipartisan, spoke openly about her belief in secular government. She is also a “net positive for the environment,” scoring 80 percent in 2017 and a lifetime score of 78 percent from the League of Conservation Voters, EcoWatch reported.
Filling the seat of Senator Jeff Flake, Sinema was the first openly bisexual member of the U.S. House of Representative when she won a seat in 2012 and will now become the first bisexual to serve on the Senate, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). She has been a “champion for the LGBTQ community” during her three terms in Congress.
Experts believe Sinema’s win is by far the biggest victory for Democrats and changes the scope of the 2018 midterm elections as they push forward to 2020.
“As long as I’ve served Arizona, I’ve worked to help others see our common humanity and 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,” Sienema said in a tweet on Monday.