A major Arizona newspaper is backing a Democrat to fill retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-Ariz.) Senate seat, breaking with years of Republican endorsements.
The Arizona Republic editorial board endorsed Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) over Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) on Sunday, calling the Democratic candidate the “antidote” for the “rancor and malice” in Washington.
The endorsement lauded both candidates’ qualifications and centrist tendencies but lamented the campaign that has forced them both to be painted to different extremes of the political spectrum.
“We need to get back to a saner time, when senators didn’t call each other names –– or if they did, they could put it all aside after the vote and go get a beer together,” the editorial board wrote of the heated atmosphere that has engulfed Washington and the Arizona campaign. “There is too much ‘us and them’ in D.C., and it hurts how we are governed.”
But despite writing positively on the core values of both candidates and their respective approaches to politics, the editorial board underscored the importance of one candidate over the other:
If you have grown tired of the toxic culture that has taken over Capitol Hill; if you long for more collegial leadership focused on solving problems, not settling scores; if you want a federal government that works, not wages constant war; you must send people to Washington who can change it. People who not only talk bipartisanship but determinedly practice it.
“She leads with an arm extended to the other side and a promise to work together,” the editorial board wrote of Sinema. “She has traveled a long ways from the street-marching activist she once was to the good-natured centrist she now is.”
“In a Washington in which rancor and malice are disturbingly normal, Sinema is the antidote. Leaders like her can come from any party and they are needed more than ever.”
— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) October 21, 2018
Ultimately, the Arizona Republic editorial board recommended that their readers support Sinema to be the next senator from Arizona.
According to Axios, the Sinema endorsement is the Arizona Republic’s first endorsement of a Democratic candidate for Senate since at least 2000.