Kyrsten Sinema, Martha McSally to be sworn into Senate this week

Jan 3, 2019, 8:29 AM | Updated: 3:41 pm
Sen. Martha McSally, left, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona...
Sen. Martha McSally, left, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. (AP Photos/Matt York)
(AP Photos/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally will be sworn into the Senate Thursday, marking the start for the state’s first federal female senators.

Sinema was elected to outgoing U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat over Republican McSally in November, beating her by less than 2 percent of the vote.

McSally was picked by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey last month to succeed outgoing U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl and serve out part of the late Sen. John McCain’s term.

Sinema will also be the first Democrat to hold the office since 1988. She will take over for Flake, a Republican who assumed office in 2013.

Flake announced in 2017 that he would not seek re-election. Sinema’s term will run until 2024.

There were 2.4 million votes cast statewide in the Nov. 6 race. Turnout was 17 percentage points higher than the previous midterm.

McSally can run in a 2020 special election to fill the remainder of McCain’s seat through 2022. Then the seat will be up again for a full six-year term.

Sinema and McSally will be the first freshman pair from the state to serve in the Senate since 1912, after Arizona was given statehood.

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Kyrsten Sinema, Martha McSally to be sworn into Senate this week