A former Arizona state legislator and out bisexual woman won her party's nomination for Congress late Tuesday night.
Kyrsten Sinema won the Democratic primary for Arizona's 9th Congressional District after defeating state Sen. David Schapira and a former adviser to the Clinton White House, Andrei Cherny.
"We are feeling optimistic and we are excited," Sinema said after her victory, according to The Arizona Republic.
Sinema is running for a new seat created after the 2010 Census that encompasses Tempe and parts of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Mesa and Chandler. She was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2004 and the state Senate in 2010.
Although the Republican primary was too close to call between a crowded field of seven different candidates, many believe the 36-year-old Sinema will face a competitive race against any Republican candidate.
Nevertheless, Sinema is poised to make history, not only by potentially becoming the first out bisexual member of Congress, but also the only out woman in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin is currently the only out lesbian in the House, but is running for Senate.)
The primary had taken an ugly turn in recent months, with all three candidates accusing each other of engaging in negative and dishonest campaigning.
In her victory statement, Sinema said she expects the attacks to continue: "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."
Sinema added that whatever voters hear, she will "always be on the side of ordinary families who have been kicked around and held down by powerful forces that have damaged our country’s prosperity."
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund president and CEO, Chuck Wolfe, praised Sinema as a "proven leader who stands up for what's right and knows how to get results."
"We're extremely proud of her hard-fought victory tonight and committed to helping bring her authentic voice for LGBT equality to Capitol Hill in November," said Wolfe in a statement.
Victory Fund, which works to elect LGBT candidates, endorsed Sinema's candidacy. With eight out candidates running for Congress this year, the number of LGBT congress members could double from the current four after November.
[Photo: Krysten Sinema (Courtesy of Krysten Sinema for Congress).]