The contest to gain control of the United States Senate may be decided in Arizona with Ninth Congressional District House Representative Kyrsten Sinema running against Second Congressional District House Representative Republican Martha McSally for the seat held by outgoing Senator Jeff Flake. Observers feel the outcome of this race may decide who controls the United States Senate. Representative Sinema is looking to become the first Democrat to win a United States Senate seat since 1988.
With Sinema leading throughout the summer, the race has drawn closer as the McSally campaign and her surrogates have launched a series of misleading, inaccurate and false negative ads against her Democratic opponent.
The Sinema team and her supporters have been very effective in rapidly replying to these attacks with accurate, factual ads on McSally, especially on the issue of protecting pre-existing health conditions where ads relay how the Republican nominee publicly distorted her voting record to hide that she actually moved to undermine these protections.
Sinema has done well in appealing to Democrats, Independents, and Republicans disenchanted with the direction Trump has taken their party.
The first debate (an event the McSally people have been “hesitant” to embrace) is scheduled for Monday, October 15.
Representative Sinema spent some time with the Blog for Arizona and answered several questions via a phone interview on what she is running for and what she hopes to accomplish as a Senator. The questions and responses are below.
What are three reasons you are running for the United States Senate?
“I want to fight every day for the issues that matter for all Arizonans.”
“My own childhood really taught me the power of working hard and helping other people.”
“ I have a proven track record of working with anyone to get the job done.”
Please describe the three top issues the people want you to discuss the most when you meet with them.
“Number one far and away is health care. Arizonans are worried about affordability for them and their family. They’re very concerned that Congress will try again to take away protections for pre-existing health conditions.”
“Number two, folks are very concerned about ensuring we’re protecting Medicare and Social Security for the current seniors and future generations. This is an area where there is a lot of difference between me and Martha.”
Sinema mentioned McSally’s support of “dangerous ideas” like turning Medicare into a voucher program, privatization, and cuts to these important programs.
Finally, Representative Sinema, noting that two of her brothers were in the armed services: one is a Marine and the other is in the Navy, wants to “make sure we’re taking care of our veterans and military families. […] It really matters to me that veterans get the care they deserve and they’ve earned.”
To what extent have the Democrats, Independents, and disaffected Republicans rallied behind you in this campaign?
“We’ve seen excitement and energy in this campaign that I’ve never seen before. As you know I was born and raised in Tucson, so I’m a native and I’ve never seen anything like this. Rooms are packed to the gills and volunteers excited to help us on the campaign. It is very inspiring and reminds me that I have to work harder every single day to make sure we’re standing up for our shared values.”
This enthusiasm across party lines has been noticed by McSally, as depicted in the below video links that show her imploring Republicans to unite behind her.
If elected, what would be at least three pieces of legislation/programs you would advance?
- “Making sure everyone gets access to affordable, quality health care.”
- “Ensuring that veterans get benefits they earned.”
- “Keeping Americans safe and secure at home and abroad.”
- “Creating good paying jobs for everyday Americans.”
If elected to the Senate and the Muller Investigation revealed criminal acts committed by the Trump campaign, would you favor Senate conviction of the President on House Impeachment charges?
“I have taken action in the House to ensure Mr. Mueller can complete his investigation free from political interference from anyone, including the administration. I believe he (Mueller) is conducting his job in an impartial way and he should have the space and time to complete it. I will reserve the judgment until we receive the report. It [the investigation] needs to be professional, thorough, and complete. Recently Martha said Mr. Mueller should stop the investigation, that it should end. As Americans, we deserve to know the truth. The responsible action to take here is to protect the integrity of the investigation and wait for the results of that investigation.”
Please tell us what are at least two things you want the voters to know about you that has not been covered in the questions?
“First, the work that I did with Senator John McCain that protected $3.5 billion in federal funds for K-12 schools. We have a lot more work to do to support public education in Arizona, but that was critical and I’m proud we got it done.”
“Second, I have been able to reach across the aisle to get things done. I am ranked the third most independent politician to get things done. That is in contrast to Martha McSally.”
In this election season, Arizonans have two choices for the United States Senate. They can choose the pragmatic progressive candidate who has a history of advocating for those in need, championing our nation’s security, and working across the aisle with the other party for our state or they can decide for that the retired pilot who has chosen the dark side of the Republican (Trump) party and has resorted to launching a series of false and negative ads as the basis for her campaign. Voters should probably look to the candidate that will move the state forward on a bipartisan basis. For more information on Representative Sinema and the campaign, please visit the below links.