Politics

McSally Concedes to Sinema Following Recount in Arizona

Jeff Flake's seat flipped to the Democrats — victor is set to become the first openly bisexual senator in U.S. history

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) conceded her Senate race in Arizona to Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) late on Monday after she trailed further behind the Democrat.

The latest vote tallies have now come in on the close race a full six days after the midterm elections.

“Congrats to @kyrstensinema. I wish her success. I’m grateful to all those who supported me in this journey,” said McSally on her Senate campaign Twitter account.

“I’m inspired by Arizonans’ spirit and our state’s best days are ahead of us,” she also wrote.

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For her own part, Sinema (pictured above left) said in her victory speech on Monday, “Arizonans had a choice between two very different ways forward: One focused on fear and party politics, and one focused on Arizona and the issues that matter to everyday families.”

“Arizona rejected what has become far too common in our country: name-calling, petty personal attacks, and doing and saying whatever it takes just to get elected,” Sinema added.

Sinema struck a much different tone on Twitter, writing, “As long as I’ve served Arizona, I’ve worked to help others see our common humanity & 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.”

“Thank you, Arizona,” she also said. “Let’s get to work.”

Sinema will be replacing outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), one of the that congressional body’s most unpopular and vocal anti-Trump Republicans, in January.

She will become the state’s first female senator and will also make history as the nation’s first openly bisexual senator.

By flipping Flake’s Republican seat, Sinema will become the first Democrat to represent Arizona in the Senate in three decades.

Democrats have now flipped two GOP seats in the Senate, although Republican will maintain control of the chamber after Republican candidates flipped at least three Democratic seats, with Florida still a question mark.

Although McSally (above right) initially led Sinema on election night, her lead diminished as more ballots poured in and a recount commenced. When The Associated Press called the race on Monday, McSally trailed Sinema by 1.7 percent of the vote.

McSally, who initially distanced herself from President Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, eventually embraced the president and his Make America Great Again platform during her primary election.

Trump endorsed McSally after she clinched her primary election victory on August 28, tweeting, “Martha McSally is an extraordinary woman. She was a very talented fighter jet pilot and is now a highly respected member of Congress. She is Strong on Crime, the Border and our under siege 2nd Amendment. Loves our Military and our Vets. Has my total and complete Endorsement!”

McSally, a U.S. Air Force veteran who became the first American woman pilot to fly in combat, has served in the House since 2015.

Although McSally trailed Sinema by more than seven percent in July, the two candidates polled neck-and-neck with each other during the last few weeks, according to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) polling average.

Related: Is Trump a Racist? Arizona Voters Have Heated Debate on ‘The Ingraham Angle’

Trump defeated 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Arizona by four percent during the presidential election.

Sinema tried to portray herself as a centrist during her years as a congresswoman, and Fox News noted that she only voted against bills Trump supported 40 percent of the time.

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