By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com August 22 2012 1:13 PM ET
Arizona lawmaker Kyrsten Sinema says that one of her opponents is using language to sway voters against her because of her sexual orientation.
Sinema is vying against former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherny and state Senate minority leader David Schapira in the Democratic primary for Arizona's 9th congressional district House seat. As voters head to the polls Tuesday, Sinema told the Washington Blade that Cherny is smearing her because she is a single, bisexual woman.
Sinema said that Cherny's campaign told leaders of a union that Sinema would not win the November election because of her sexual orientation. When she asked them about her sexual orientation, which was not a secret, Sinema replied, “It’s true that I’m openly bisexual, I have been my entire adult life, and I’ve managed to win four elections, and, meanwhile, he’s lost two, so perhaps it was being straight that was the problem here.”
Sinema ended up winning their support.
Cherny's campaign manager, however, said her claims are "dirty, desperate and slanderous." Former Tempe, Ariz., mayor Neil Giuliano and former U.S. representative Jim Kolbe, both of whom are gay, as well as other LGBT voters told the Blade that Cherny is not homophobic, and that the accusations don't sound like an accurate representation of his character.