PHOENIX — Democrat Kyrsten Sinema on Monday was declared the winner in the election to represent Arizona’s Ninth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sinema, 36, had a narrow lead on election night that made the race too close to call, but as mail-in and absentee ballots were counted in recent days, her lead has grown to a nearly 6,000-vote advantage that is too much for Republican challenger Vernon Parker to overcome.
When she is sworn in early next year, Sinema will be the first openly-bisexual Member of Congress and join the largest-ever class of openly LGBT lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including the first openly-gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.
In the 113th Congress, Sinema will join incumbent Congressmen David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), as well as newcomers Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who will be the first openly-gay person of color in Congress.
“We are thrilled that Kyrsten Sinema will be bringing her passion for the needs of the people of her district, as well as those of LGBT people nationwide, to Washington,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, in a statement Monday.
“In January, Kyrsten will make history as she joins the largest-ever class of LGB Members of Congress, including the first openly-gay U.S. Senator, Tammy Baldwin. I know that this incredible group of LGBT leaders will make tremendous strides toward our goal of full equality and HRC looks forward to working with them every step of the way,” said Griffin.
The 113th Congress will have a total of seven openly LGBT members, an increase from only four in the last Congress.
Before running for U.S. Congress, Sinema served served in both the Arizona House and Senate, where she was a standout leader on issues of LGBT equality, including in fighting against efforts to amend the Arizona Constitution to ban marriage for gay and lesbian couples. She has also served as a member of HRC‘s Arizona Steering Committee.