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Sinema invokes McCain in Senate acceptance speech

Sinema invokes McCain in Senate acceptance speech
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Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D), who was declared the winner on Monday in Arizona’s Senate race, called for bipartisanship and ending partisan gridlock in her victory speech, invoking the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainArizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Whoopi Goldberg wears 'my vice president' shirt day after inauguration Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated MORE (R-Ariz.) as an example of how to achieve that.

Sinema defeated Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyCindy McCain on possible GOP censure: 'I think I'm going to make T-shirts' Arizona state GOP moves to censure Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed MORE (R-Ariz.) in one of the most closely watched Senate races this cycle. Sinema led by a margin of 38,197 votes, or about 1.7 percentage points, when The Associated Press called the race six full days after Election Day.

In a Monday night speech, the Democratic congresswoman dedicated a large part of her speech to honoring McCain, who died in late August after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

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Sinema said the question she heard the most from voters was why the country has become so polarized.

“Arizona rejected what has become far too common in our country: name-calling, petty, personal attacks and doing and saying whatever it takes just to get elected,” Sinema told supporters in a Monday victory speech. “We can embrace differences while seeking common ground.”

"[McCain’s] example shines a light on our way forward. Sen. John McCain stood for everything we stand for as Arizonans: fighting for what you believe in, standing up for what’s right even if you stand alone, and serving a cause that’s greater than oneself."

“It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight," she concluded. "We can do this differently. For our country, for our future, for Sen. McCain, and for each other, I think we must.”

Sinema becomes Arizona’s first female senator as well as the first Democratic senator elected to the state since 1988. 

Apart from Arizona, Nevada is the only other Senate seat that Democrats picked up this cycle. Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenSenate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee House Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close MORE (D-Nev.) unseated Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE, who was the only GOP senator up for reelection in state Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Texas Supreme Court rejects Alex Jones request to toss lawsuits from Sandy Hook parents Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing MORE carried in 2016.

Republicans have already secured the Senate majority with wins in North Dakota, Missouri and Indiana. But the size of that majority remains up in the air as Florida undergoes a recount and Mississippi holds a special election runoff on Nov. 27.