ARIZONA NEWS

Kyrsten Sinema returns to DC for Senate job after defeating McSally

Nov 13, 2018, 8:17 AM | Updated: 12:11 pm

PHOENIX — Kyrsten Sinema returned to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday — but under a new title.

The Senator-elect tweeted on Tuesday that she was back in the nation’s capital to attend what she called “Senate school,” an orientation to brief new lawmakers on what is to be expected on the Hill.

“Back in DC, headed to the first day of Senate school,” Sinema wrote. “I am overcome with gratitude — Thank you Arizona! It’s the privilege of my life to represent you.”

The tweet came from Sinema’s campaign Twitter account — her official account remained as @RepSinema as of Tuesday morning.

Sinema was in D.C. just hours after The Associated Press declared her win over Republican Martha McSally in a divisive race.

She defeated McSally, 49.68 percent to 47.96 percent, in the race, which was called nearly a week after Election Day.

McSally conceded the race Monday night in a video posted on Twitter — featuring none other than her beloved (and very good) dog, Boomer.

Flake also tweeted his congratulations to Sinema on Monday and gave his praise to McSally for a “gracious concession speech.”

Gov. Doug Ducey, who won his re-election over Democrat David Garcia in the Nov. 6 election, also thanked both candidates for their “historic campaigns.”

Ducey’s statement of a historic campaign was not an understatement: Both Sinema and McSally were fighting to become the first female senator to represent the state in Washington, D.C. In addition, Sinema will also become the state’s first Democratic senator since the mid-1990s and the first-ever openly bisexual senator.

The delay of Monday’s eventual result came as election officials slowly counted the more than 600,000 outstanding votes in the narrow race to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.

As county recorders’ officials were counting the ballots — the majority of which were in Maricopa County — four county Republican parties filed a lawsuit alleging the state’s 15 county recorders don’t follow a uniform standard for allowing voters to adjust problems with their mail-in ballots, and that two counties improperly allow those fixes after Election Day.

The settlement reached allowed county recorders more time to “cure” mail-in ballots and continue counting votes.

Sinema’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives will be filled by former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who won his election for federal office after beating Republican Dr. Steve Ferrara, 59 percent to 40 percent.

Stanton tweeted his congrats to Sinema early Tuesday morning.

Sinema had been the only lawmaker to represent the 9th Congressional District seat since it was formed after the 2010 Census.

But the newly elected lawmakers will not be expected to make any big decisions soon: The 116th session doesn’t convene until Jan. 3.

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Kyrsten Sinema returns to DC for Senate job after defeating McSally