Results are still coming in from last week’s midterm elections and yes, women are continuing to break barriers. While there are still contested races in Georgia and Florida where candidates like Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum are awaiting their fates, Monday night brought the good news that the Arizona Senate race finally came to a close when Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was declared the winner over Republican Martha McSally.
Sinema, a former social worker, will be the first woman to represent Arizona and the first openly bisexual person ever elected to the Senate. The race had been too close to call over the past week and early votes and mail-in ballots had to be counted.
“As long as I’ve served Arizona, I’ve worked to help others see our common humanity & find common ground,” Sinema posted on Facebook after her victory. “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.”
Her opponent McSally, a former fighter pilot, shared a video on Twitter congratulating Sinema on her win and wishing her success.
“Congrats to @kyrstensinema,” she wrote. “I wish her success. I’m grateful to all those who supported me in this journey. I’m inspired by Arizonans’ spirit and our state’s best days are ahead of us.”
Many feel Sinema’s victory in winning the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake is a sign of rebuke to President Donald Trump’s policies and platform. “Arizona voters rejected Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s politics of bigotry and fear and made history by electing bold pro-equality champion Kyrsten Sinema as the nation’s first openly bisexual U.S. Senator,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a statement. “For more than a year, HRC has worked to organize 800,000 equality voters across the state and we are proud to have helped Senator-elect Sinema across the finish line in a tight race. We celebrate this incredible moment and look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work with Sinema, and Arizona Congressmembers Tom O’Halleran, Ann Kirkpatrick, Raul Grijalva, Ruben Gallego, and Greg Stanton to move equality forward for all Arizonans.”
Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez echoed that sentiment: “Congratulations to Kyrsten Sinema and Arizona Democrats for such a stunning victory. Arizonans went to the polls last Tuesday looking for bold new leadership, and that’s exactly what they’re going to get with their first-ever female senator and our nation’s second openly LGBTQ senator,” he said.
“Unlike her predecessor, Senator-elect Sinema is ready to fight on day one for quality health care, a VA system that works the way it should for our veterans, comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, and an economy that works for all Arizonans. The Democratic National Committee was proud to invest in and partner with the Democratic Party of Arizona to expand their voter outreach and help get voters to the polls.”
Sinema’s win guarantees Democrats 47 seats in the Senate (compared to Republicans’ 51.) Florida and Mississippi are undecided.