Arizona’s deeply contentious Senate race has been called in favor of Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, who beat out Republican Martha McSally for retiring Jeff Flake’s seat by a margin of tens of thousands of votes.
Sinema’s victory is historic on several fronts: Not only is she the first Democrat the state has elected to the Senate since 1998, she’s also Arizona’s first woman Senator and the first openly bisexual senator in U.S. history.
Sinema began her political career as a hard left-leaning Green Party candidate for the Arizona House, though several terms in the state Legislature earned her a reputation as someone willing to compromise with Republicans. Now, she’s an avowed centrist, and has voted for bills backed by Trump 60 percent of the time, including legislation that would crack down on crimes committed by people who entered the country illegally.
In a Facebook post, Sinema wrote that she would continue to pursue her longtime goal of finding “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.
Sinema’s win is thanks largely to the mobilization of Arizona’s 2.1 million Latinx voters, who headed to the polls in unprecedented numbers to protest Trump and his policies.
“I have never been into politics until this year,” Oralia Ochoa, 26, told the New York Times. “It all has to do with Trump and what’s going on.”