Arizona New Members 2019
Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)
DATE OF BIRTH: July 12, 1976
EDUCATION: B.A., Brigham Young University; M.S.W., J.D., Ph.D. and MBA, Arizona State University
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is making the jump to the Senate after defeating GOP Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police No evidence of unauthorized data transfers by top Chinese drone manufacturer: study Senate Democratic campaign arm launches online hub ahead of November MORE for the Arizona seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism Kelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE’s retirement.
Sinema is the first woman elected to the Senate from Arizona. She is also the first Democrat to win a Senate election in the state since the mid-1990s.
She’s been a member of the House of Representatives since 2013, where she represented the state’s 9th District. Her election to the House made her the first openly bisexual member of Congress.
Before coming to Washington, she was a member of the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.
She worked on Ralph Nader’s 2000 campaign and initially ran for a state House seat in 2002 as an independent candidate affiliated with the Green Party but lost.
Sinema has spoken openly about how she was homeless for part of her childhood. She grew up in a Mormon family, but says she left the church after graduating from Brigham Young University.
Rep.-elect Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickHouse Democrats jam GOP with coronavirus bill Eleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix Arizona Democrat to get treatment for alcohol dependence after suffering fall MORE (D-Ariz.-02)
DATE OF BIRTH: March 24, 1950
RESIDENCE: Tucson, Ariz.
OCCUPATION: Former lawmaker
EDUCATION: B.A., J.D., University of Arizona
FAMILY: Husband, Roger; and four children
Ann Kirkpatrick is making a comeback in Congress with her victory in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.
Kirkpatrick represented Arizona’s 1st District from 2009 to 2011 and from 2013 to 2017. She unsuccessfully ran in 2016 against former Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump Cindy McCain ‘disappointed’ McGrath used image of John McCain in ad attacking McConnell Report that Bush won’t support Trump reelection ‘completely made up,’ spokesman says MORE (R), who died in August of brain cancer.
Kirkpatrick, a native of rural Arizona, began her career as an attorney in the state. She was a law clerk for the Pima County Attorney’s Office in the 1970s and became deputy Pima County attorney years later, before transitioning to private practice.
Kirkpatrick showed her political chops in Arizona’s state House of Representatives in the early 2000s before heading to Washington to represent the state’s 1st District.
Kirkpatrick faced a fierce battle in the August Democratic primary, defeating six opponents in her bid to revive her congressional career. She ultimately prevailed against Republican Lea Marquez Peterson in November.
Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.-08)
DATE OF BIRTH: Nov. 14, 1958
RESIDENCE: Peoria, Ariz.
EDUCATION: B.A., University of Wisconsin
FAMILY: Husband, Joe; three children
Rep. Debbie Lesko won a full two-year term to Arizona’s 8th District, the seat once held by ex-Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R).
Lesko defeated physician and political newcomer Hiral Tipirneni in both the April special election and November general election.
The April special election garnered national attention as one of many districts where Democrats outperformed in traditionally GOP strongholds. Lesko won by about 5 points in April in a district President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE had carried by 21 points in 2016.
The seat became vacant when reports surfaced that Franks allegedly discussed paying a staffer to carry his child. Franks resigned from Congress in December.
Lesko has a long track record of public service in Arizona, first as a state representative from 2009 to 2015 and then as a state senator until 2018. In her final year as a state senator, she served as president pro tempore.
Rep.-elect Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.-09)
DATE OF BIRTH: March 8, 1970
EDUCATION: B.A., Marquette University; J.D., University of Michigan
FAMILY: Two children
• After nearly six years as Phoenix mayor, Greg Stanton was searching for his next political move. He found it when Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, another Phoenix Democrat, launched her Senate bid.
Stanton ran for Sinema’s open House seat and, in November, defeated Republican Steve Ferrara.
Stanton won election in 2000 to the Phoenix City Council, where he served for nine years. He later was appointed as a deputy attorney general for Arizona, then won election as mayor of America’s sixth largest city in 2011.
Stanton was reelected in 2015. During his tenure, he pushed for the expansion of light rail, an anti-discrimination measure protecting LGBT residents and trade with Mexico. He’s been a vocal critic of President Trump’s immigration policies but opposed an effort to make Phoenix a “sanctuary city.”
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Facing term limits, Stanton resigned as mayor in May 2018 to run for Arizona’s 9th District, which includes parts of Phoenix and surrounding suburbs.