Sinema, Kirkpatrick head to Washington

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has defeated Republican Vernon Parker in the race for Arizona’s CD9. Sinema is a former Arizona State legislator who said she was “honored and ready to start working for the people of Arizona.”

Sinema was criticized as being a radical progressive while her opponent Parker was labeled a tea party radical. While Democrats strongly supported Sinema, Parker struggled to even maintain strong Republican support.

Sinema left on Monday for a freshman orientation, and his joined by winner of the CD1 race, Ann Kirkpatrick.

In a prepared statement Sinema said, “I am grateful for the honor and the opportunity to serve the people of Arizona again. My job is to represent all of the people in CD9 whether they voted for me or not. The voters have given us a clear ‘to do’ list – work to fix our economy, reduce our ballooning debt and better protect the middle class. I am eager to get to work and I intend to team up with anyone of any party who is willing to help change Congress and move our country forward.”

One Parker supporter said that much of the time, “Parker was nowhere to be found. He did not meet Sinema’s call to public debates on multiple occassions – only settling on one televised debate wherein he did not do very well – and that was about a week or so before the election. Though he had name recognition and lots of money, Sinema was constantly out in direct contact with the public. Vernon, I suspect, relied too much on his past achievements and name recognition and tv ads. He did not get out and connect with the public.”

The Arizona GOP struggled with in-fighting and as a result was in too much disarray to assist candidates. In the later months of the long campaigns, the National Republican Party stepped up, but it was too little too late to save Republican candidates in the red state.

Jonathan Paton, Republican challenger of Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, held out until Monday to concede the race despite the fact that it was called last week.

Paton offered his congratulations and wished Kirkpatrick the best. Paton never really connected with rural voters, and was viewed as a “carpet bagger” by many nothern Arizona residents. Paton moved into the newly drawn district  from southern Arizona to run for the seat.

As of Monday morning, Congressman Ron Barber, the hand-picked successor to Gabrielle Giffords was 700 votes ahead of challenger, Republican Martha McSally, in the CD2 race.