Sinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups

Sinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups
© Greg Nash

LGBTQ groups are cheering the Monday night victory by Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D), who is set to become the country's first openly bisexual senator. 

Sinema's win was officially declared on Monday after six days of ballot-counting in a tight senatorial race against GOP Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyHispanic Caucus seeks to retain voice in House leadership Nikki Haley blasts Roy Moore's Senate bid: 'He does not represent our Republican Party' McSally on Moore running for Senate again: 'This place has enough creepy old men' MORE (Ariz.). Sinema will be the state's first female senator and the first Democrat to win a Senate race in Arizona since 1988. 

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Sinema is also the second openly LGBTQ person to be elected to the upper chamber, joining Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinHillicon Valley: House panel advances election security bill | GOP senator targets YouTube with bill on child exploitation | Hicks told Congress Trump camp felt 'relief' after release of Clinton docs | Commerce blacklists five Chinese tech groups Senate Democrats press regulators over reported tech investigations Chris Murphy may oppose bipartisan health bill unless it addresses ObamaCare 'sabotage' MORE (D-Wis.), who is lesbian.

“An LGBTQ woman winning a U.S. Senate seat in a state that voted for Trump is a game-changer, both for the LGBTQ community and the Democratic party,” CEO and President of LGBTQ Victory Fund Annise Parker said in a statement on Monday. “Kyrsten’s victory makes clear that an LGBTQ candidate who listens to voters and prioritizes their issues can win elected office anywhere – blue state or red state." 

Victory Fund, a political action committee that works to elect LGBTQ candidates to office, dubbed Sinema one of their "game changer" candidates this election cycle, directly contributing $10,000 to her campaign and raising more than $97,000 for her.

The country's largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), also in a statement called Sinema's win "historic." 

HRC has invested heavily in the Arizona Senate race, with 18 staff members on the ground and thousands of volunteers nationwide seeking to bolster Sinema's campaign.

"Arizona voters rejected [President] Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE and [Vice President] Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceLeaked Trump transition vetting documents show numerous officials with 'red flags': Axios Texas Republican: Migrant conditions in his state the 'worst' he's seen US officials express optimism negotiations with Iran possible MORE’s politics of bigotry and fear and made history by electing bold pro-equality champion Kyrsten Sinema as the nation’s first openly bisexual U.S. Senator,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

The Arizona Democrat was also the first openly bisexual member of the House of Representatives, co-chairing of the chamber’s Equality Caucus and co-sponsoring the Equality Act, federal legislation that would guarantee protections for LGBTQ people. 

Sinema is a moderate Blue Dog Democrat who touted her centrist positions throughout her campaign. 

Baldwin congratulated Sinema, as did others working in the LGBTQ community on Monday.

Sinema says she has "always been out," but made her first public comment about bisexuality as an elected official in 2005, according to Elle Magazine.

"We're simply people like everyone else who want and deserve respect," Sinema said, responding to an anti-LGBTQ speech by a Republican lawmaker.

Reporters later asked her about her use of the first person.

"Duh, I'm bisexual," she replied. 

Some analysts have said there was a "rainbow wave" during this year's midterm elections, with a record number of LGBTQ candidates running and winning up and down the ballot.

Democratic Rep. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisGOP gun rights activist arrested for flashing handgun at U.S. marshal First openly gay man elected governor marks Pride with flag at state capitol Colorado passes more than billion in marijuana revenue MORE on Election Day became the first openly gay man to win a gubernatorial race in Colorado.

— Updated 10 p.m.