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 McCainEsper faces tough questions on dismissal of aircraft carrier's commander Democratic super PAC targets McSally over coronavirus response GOP senator suspending campaign fundraising, donating paycheck amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (R-Ariz.) as an example of how to achieve that.

Sinema defeated Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight Democratic super PAC targets McSally over coronavirus response 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 RosenShocking ignorance about the Holocaust illustrates the need to pass the Never Again Education Act Overnight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Bipartisan Senate resolution would urge UN to renew Iran arms embargo, travel restrictions 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 ClintonWe need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Poll shows Biden with 6-point edge on Trump in Florida Does Joe Biden really want to be president? 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.