Kyrsten Sinema just became Arizona’s first woman senator and the first openly bisexual senator in U.S. history. Her win was declared nearly a week after the election in a close race against Republican representative Martha McSally. Her victory marks the first time AZ has elected a Democratic senator in three decades and is historic for LGBTQ+ and women representation in Congress.
But Sinema said her journey to Congress wasn’t easy.
“My family was homeless for almost three years. And so we lived in this old abandoned gas station,” she explained. “We didn’t have running water, we didn’t have electricity, sometimes didn’t have enough food to eat.”
Despite her early struggle, Sinema graduated high school at age 16 and went on to earn four college degrees, including a master’s in social work and a law degree.
She said she decided to pursue politics to help people with backgrounds similar to her own.
“I was raised in a very conservative household and was taught the value of hard work and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” she stated. “But I also was taught the value of human kindness and caring about other people.”
Sinema said her ultimate goal is to address pressing issues like immigration, health care, and gun reform while serving in the Senate.