News » Politics

Arizona Democrat Could Be 1st (Openly) Bi Member of Congress

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Aug 30, 2012

After defeating two Democratic opponents in a primary race, a former Arizona state lawmaker is on her way to become the first openly bisexual member of Congress, the Advocate reported.

Former Sen. Kyrsten Sinema recently won her Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives by beating out State Sen. David Schapira and Andrei Cherney, who was an adviser to President Bill Clinton.

Simena celebrated her win with more than 100 supporters and when the results showed that she won, everyone cheered and danced, the Arizona Republic reported. She came away with 42.5 percent of the vote.

"We are feeling optimistic and we are excited," Sinema said.

Sinema will now face Vernon Parker, a councilman from Valley Town who won a seven-way Republican primary. The winner will be the first person to represent the new 9th Congressional District based in Tempe, Ariz. If Sinema wins, she could make history twice.

Tempe, Ariz., is about 10 miles from Phoenix.

"Kyrsten is a proven leader who stands up for what's right and knows how to get results," Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which supports Sinema, told the Advocate. "We're extremely proud of her hard-fought victory tonight and committed to helping bring her authentic, outspoken voice for LGBT equality to Capitol Hill in November." The Human Rights Campaign and EMILY's List are backing Sinema as well.

The Washington Blade reported last week that Sinema accused Cherny of telling voters she could not win because of her sexual orientation.

"Unfortunately, his strategy every time he runs for office has been to really seek to tear down his opponent instead of putting forth his own positive ideas for the future," Sinema told the Blade in an interview. "We're seeing that same strategy again in this election."

Members of a union that ended up supporting Sinema but told her that Cherny said in an endorsement interview that she could not win because she is openly bisexual.

"I got a call from some union folks who support my campaign because of my long history of standing with working families," Sinema said. "Apparently, he had told some of them in interviews that I couldn't win the election and that I shouldn't get the endorsement because I'm openly bisexual and can't win a general election."

Sinema referenced the incident in her victory statement, which appeared on her official website, and said, "Arizonans have heard a lot of negative attacks against me during this campaign, and we are going to hear a lot worse. You are going to hear things about me that aren't true. This is what has happened to our politics, and this win-at-all-costs mentality is damaging our democracy."


  • Wayne M., 2012-09-03 20:07:19

    I wish her luck. Kyrsten will add a positive voice for progress in congress.

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