In the race for U.S. senator from Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema, seeking to become the first out bisexual member of the chamber, had a lead of more than 9,600 votes over Martha McSally as of Thursday evening.
The race is far from decided, but the vote count announced by the Arizona Secretary of State’s this evening puts Sinema, the Democratic candidate, in a much better position than earlier in the day, when she trailed her Republican rival by about 17,000 votes, The Arizona Republic reports.
At midday, McSally had 856,848 votes, or 49.37 percent, while Sinema had 839,775. or 48.39 percent, according to the Republic. But by 6:20 p.m., the numbers had changed significantly. At that point, Sinema had 932,870 votes, representing 49.1 percent, while McSally had 923,260, or 48.59 percent. Most of the remainder has gone to Green Party candidate Angela Green.
Sinema and McSally, both currently members of the U.S. House, are vying to replace Sen. Jeff Flake, who did not seek reelection. Either would be the state’s first female U.S. senator. Hundreds of thousands of ballots remain to be counted, but Sinema’s campaign manager, Andrew Platt, expressed optimism in a statement to the Republic.
“We have spent the hours since the polls closed tracking down ballots and know there are more than 600,000 left to be counted across the state,” he said. “We also know that when the Maricopa County Recorder releases its first batch of ballots this evening, there will still be approximately half a million votes left to count. Once they are counted, we are confident that Kyrsten Sinema will be the next senator for the state of Arizona.”