Bisexual Democratic candidate flips Arizona Senate seat
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – November 13, 2018
The U.S. officially has its first bisexual Senator. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema won the Arizona Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake to become the first woman to win a U.S. Senate seat in the state. The race against Republican Rep. Martha McSally was tight enough that a winner wasn't decided until Monday, after a slow count of mail-in ballots gave her an insurmountable lead.
McSally conceded on Monday via her Twitter.
Congrats to @kyrstensinema. 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.
— McSally For Senate (@MarthaMcSally)
Congrats to @kyrstensinema. 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. pic.twitter.com/tw0uKgi3oO— McSally For Senate (@MarthaMcSally) November 13, 2018
However, Sinema won by pointedly not running against the president or even critiquing his hardline immigration stance.
"She didn't put the progressive bit in her mouth and run with it," said Chuck Coughlin, a GOP strategist in Phoenix. "She spit it out and did something else."
Sinema targeted moderate Republican and independent women by painting herself as a nonpartisan problem-solver who voted to support Trump's agenda 60% of the time. Her nearly single-issue campaign talked about the importance of health care and protections for people with pre-existing conditions, the Associated Press reported.
She first came to prominence as an openly bisexual Green Party activist in Phoenix and was elected as a Democrat to the state legislature in 2004, where she carved out a reputation as a liberal who could work with her conservative colleagues.
Sinema is the nation’s first openly bisexual senator and the first female senator for the Copper State. She is also the first Democrat to hold the seat in more than two decades after Sen. Dennis DeConcini left office in 1995.