History Made: Sinema and McSally officially join U.S. Senate

Former campaign rivals Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) and Martha McSally (R-Arizona) made history today by becoming the first two female senators from Arizona.

Jan. 3, 2019 marked the first day of the new Congress, where Senator Sinema was sworn in as Arizona’s first female elected U.S. senator and the first Democrat elected to the Senate in 30 years.

“I’m honored to serve as AZ’s senior Senator & grateful to the voters who entrusted me with this duty,” Sinema tweeted. “I’ll continue to work to get things done for Arizonans, because they deserve leaders who put the country above party. I pledge to keep our state’s tradition of doing just that.”

Sen. Sinema won the election in November, replacing former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) who decided not to seek reelection.

Nearly a month later, after Sen. Kyl (R-Arizona) formally resigned from his appointed position following the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), Gov. Doug Ducey (R-Arizona) selected Sen. McSally to serve in the post until a 2020 special election.

McSally tweeted out, “Earlier today, I had the honor of being sworn-in as a United State Senator from the great state of AZ. Duty, honor, and country have been guiding principles for my service to our nation for over 3 decades. In the Senate, I will continue with that focus.”

In his final press conference before the new Congress, Kyl urged the two new senators to work together.

“I’ve talked to both of them and they both have made a commitment to work together. That’s another part of the key here. If you can work together, you can accomplish a lot,” Kyl said.  “A lot more, certainly, than if you’re working across purposes. That also applies to working with the members of the House of Representatives. I am hopeful that, knowing a little bit about the way that the Arizona delegation worked in the past and tried to work together, that our delegation in the House and in the Senate will continue in that tradition of working together.”

McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, took to Twitter with a message for the new class saying:

“To all who took the oath of office today: please take that oath with dignity and honor. Please serve with humility. Be worthy of serving a cause greater than yourself.”

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey congratulated the two women via Twitter:

“Today is a historic day. A woman representing Arizona has never served in the U.S. Senate — and today two have been sworn in. Congratulations to @SenatorSinema and @SenMcSallyAZ on leading the way. Looking forward to working together on behalf of Arizona.”

Sinema has represented Arizona’s 9th Congressional District since 2013.

Prior, she served as a state representative and state senator in the Arizona Legislature.

Before her political career, Sinema worked as a social worker after receiving her Master of Social Work, J.D. and Ph.D. from Arizona State University.

McSally has represented Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District since 2015.

Prior, McSally served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 2010 as a full Colonel. She was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat and first to command a fighter squadron in combat in United States history.

McSally is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and has a Master’s degree from Harvard University.

In addition to the new senators, former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was officially sworn in today to represent Congressional District 9.

Stanton is the only new member of Arizona’s Congressional delegation. Returning members include:

Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D- CD1)

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D- CD2) *Previously represented CD1

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D- CD3)

Rep. Paul Gosar (R- CD4)

Rep. Andy Biggs (R- CD5)

Rep. David Schweikert (R- CD6)

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D- CD7)

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R- CD8)

Lorna Romero

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