Democrat Kyrsten Sinema Wins Arizona Senate Race, Flipping Second GOP Seat

Saul Bowman
November 15, 2018

McSally conceded the race in a video statement on her Twitter account Monday evening.

Almost a week after Election Day, the Associated Press projected Sinema as the victor on Monday.

Sinema maintained her lead over McSally on Monday, and grew it to 1.7 percentage points, with the latest drop of early ballots, again defying the narrative from McSally's campaign that the Republican would perform well enough in the waning days of ballot-counting to remain competitive. Of the more than 2.2 million ballots cast, Sinema won by 38,197 votes.

Then, in August, longtime GOP Sen. She did not attack President Donald Trump and treaded lightly on immigration. In this election, Democrats expanded their share in the state legislature, although they're still the minority. In remarks after she was projected the victor, Sinema said her victory was a rejection of "name-calling" and "petty personal attacks", and she paid tribute to a Republican, the late Sen.

The Arizona-born politician, who spoke at the Human Rights Campaign gala this year, co-sponsored the Equality Act, which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to also ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In a speech after her victory was announced, Sinema said she was "so honored that Arizonans chose our vision of a better Arizona". "The former Air Force combat pilot adopted an aggressive tone, accusing Sinema of supporting treason over her 2003 remark that it was "fine" if a radio host who was asking her a question joined the Taliban".

"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.


While Arizona Governor Doug Ducey won re-election, Democrats snagged the Senate seat and flipped Arizona's 2nd Congressional District. John McCain's seat, and it remains to be seen whether Kyl will choose to stay or step down. That will mean a pickup of two Republican seats with the GOP flipping four spots.

Sinema's victory showed that Democrats are continuing to gain momentum in the rapidly diversifying Sun Belt and firmly places Arizona among the most important presidential and Senate battlegrounds.

More generally, the West and Southwest (Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico) are safely or trending Democratic. Dean Heller, and prevailed in Arizona, where Trump won in 2016.

Incumbent Senator Bill Nelson, the Democratic candidate, asked Governor Rick Scott - now running for Senate on the Republican ticket - to recuse himself from his election oversight duties on Monday. Cindy Hyde-Smith making a comment about a "public hanging".

Having endured so-called attack ads from the McSally campaign and other Republican-affiliated groups, the victor had the last word on the race in a victory speech on Monday night.

Sinema is an open bisexual who holds a 100% pro-abortion voting record and was endorsed by a population control group that has advocated "tax [ing] to the hilt" families that engage in "irresponsible breeding".

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