In her victory speech Monday after being declared the winner of a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema called for bridging divides and coming together, and gave a tribute to the state's late Sen. John McCain.
"We can work with people who are different than us. ... We can embrace difference while seeking common ground," said Sinema, a Democrat who will be the first out bisexual U.S. senator and the first woman elected to the chamber from Arizona. She is the second member of the LGBTQ community to be elected to the body, after lesbian Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who was reelected this year. Sinema will succeed Jeff Flake, a Republican, who did not seek reelection.
She and her opponent, Republican Martha McSally, both ran "because we want what's best for Arizona and our country," she said, but they offered different visions. In choosing her, Sinema said, Arizonans rejected "fear and party politics" and chose someone who would work across party lines to serve the interests of the state.
In her shout-out to McCain, who died in August, Sinema said he is "irreplaceable," but he left an example to be followed, as he "always put country ahead of party."