November 7, 2012 | by Chris Johnson
Bi candidate clings to lead in Ariz. race
Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona, Washington Blade, gay news

Kyrsten Sinema (photo courtesy of Sinema)

Kyrsten Sinema, who served in the Arizona state legislature for seven years, is clinging to a slight lead in her quest to represent Arizona’s 9th congressional district in the U.S. House. Sinema, who identifies as bisexual, leads opponent Vernon Parker, a former Bush administration official who worked in the Department of Agriculture, 47-46 percent with 100 percent of precincts reporting. Media outlets have not yet named a winner in the contest.

Chuck Wolfe, CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said Sinema is poised to make history by becoming the second out woman elected to Congress after Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

“Kyrsten Sinema will be a strong and articulate champion for LGBT equality in Congress,” Sinema said. “Her election as the first openly bisexual lawmaker on Capitol Hill, and only the second out woman, [would] add much-needed authenticity and diversity to House debates on issues that affect our lives.”

Sinema said during a Washington Blade interview in August she’s committed to LGBT issues and sees passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and second-parent adoption as priorities.

“People actually do get fired for being gay,” Sinema said. “People do get refusals to promote or refused to hire because they’re gay or perceived to be gay. I see ENDA and second-parent adoption as being very practical. People need jobs and need to take care of their families. So those are high on my priority list.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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