Arizona newspaper backs Democrat in dead heat Senate race

Arizona newspaper backs Democrat in dead heat Senate race
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The Arizona Republic is backing Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in her contentious Senate race against Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallySenate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses How Citizens United altered America's political landscape McConnell keeps press in check as impeachment trial starts MORE (R-Ariz.), the paper announced in an editorial on Sunday. 

The endorsement of Sinema is the paper's first for a Democrat in a statewide Senate race since at least 2000, according to Axios. The Arizona Republic first backed a Democrat for any office in the 2016 when it endorsed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti defends Tulsi Gabbard's lawsuit against Hillary Clinton Trump to hold rally on eve of New Hampshire primary MORE in her presidential bid. 

Rather than pointing to particular policy positions in the endorsement, the editorial board pointed to how the candidates have handled themselves during the race.


"We need to get back to a saner time, when senators didn’t call each other names — or if they did, they could put it all aside after the vote and go get a beer together," the paper's editorial board wrote. "There is too much 'us and them' in D.C., and it hurts how we are governed."

"The real Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema know that," the board argued. "But Sinema is the only one willing to say it (repeatedly) from behind her mask."

The editorial board argued that McSally has gone further than Sinema in attacks on her opponent. 

"There may be no better example of politics by collaboration than Sinema," the paper's editorial board wrote, also pointing out that over 60 percent of the bills she has co-sponsored this session were introduced by Republicans and that Sinema sides "with Trump's agenda 62 percent of the time."

"She has traveled a long ways from the street-marching activist she once was to the good-natured centrist she now is," the paper's board said. "In a Washington in which rancor and malice are disturbingly normal, Sinema is the antidote."

The unprecedented endorsement comes with the election only weeks away and Sinema and McSally caught in a statistical tie in polling