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Kyrsten Sinema first openly bisexual person elected to the U.S. Senate

Kyrsten Sinema

Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema was declared the winner tonight in the U.S. Senate race in Arizona, becoming the first openly bisexual person elected to the U.S. Senate and just the second openly LGBTQ person ever elected to the body. Photo: Kyrsten Sinema for U.S. Senate.

Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema was declared the winner tonight in the U.S. Senate race in Arizona, becoming the first openly bisexual person elected to the U.S. Senate and just the second openly LGBTQ person ever elected to the body.

Sinema, who represents Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, defeated anti-LGBTQ Republican Martha McSally in a closely watched race. Sinema’s victory flips the open seat of retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

Shortly after the race was called in her favor, Sinema Tweeted that she will be “an independent voice for all Arizonans.”


 

Sinema first made history in 2012, when she became the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress as a member of the House of Representatives.

That same year, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) made history as the first openly gay or lesbian person elected to the U.S. Senate. Baldwin won re-election Tuesday night.

Sinema and Baldwin join eight other openly LGBTQ people who won their races for U.S. Congress – a historic number. Only seven openly LGBTQ members currently serve in Congress.

Here are three other winners from the election.:

Jared Polis became the first gay man elected governor in the United States.

Sharice Davids became the first lesbian Native American woman elected to Congress.

Katie Hill was elected the first LGBTQ Congresswoman from California.

 

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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