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Kyrsten Sinema

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Kyrsten Sinema
Kyrsten Sinema.jpeg
U.S. House, Arizona, District 9
In office
January 3, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 1
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Cost per vote$17.38 in 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next primaryAugust 26, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$2,368,161
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Arizona State Senate
Arizona State House of Representatives
Bachelor'sBrigham Young University, 1995
Master'sArizona State University, 1999
J.D.Arizona State University, 2004
Ph.D.Arizona State University, School of Justice and Social Inquiry, 2012
BirthdayJuly 12, 1976
Place of birthTucson, Arizona
Net worth$-32,500
Office website
Campaign website
Kyrsten Sinema (b. July 12, 1976, in Tucson, Arizona) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House representing Arizona's 9th Congressional District. She was first elected in 2012 and sworn in on January 3, 2013, becoming the first openly bisexual member of Congress.[1][2]

Sinema began her political career in the Arizona House of Representatives. She represented district 15 from 2005 until her election to the Arizona State Senate in 2010. She resigned from the senate on January 3, 2012, in order to run for Congress.[3][4]

Sinema is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program for the upcoming 2014 election. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the election.[5]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Sinema is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, she may break with the Democratic Party line more than her fellow members.


Sinema was raised in Tucson, Arizona, a child of divorce who overcame significant economic obstacles to graduate at the top of her high school class at age 16. After her stepfather, a teacher, lost his job, Sinema's family spent two years living in an abandoned gas station. She went on to receive four degrees, including a bachelor’s and master's degree in social work from Brigham Young University and Arizona State University, respectively, and then both a Juris Doctorate and PhD in justice studies from Arizona State University.[4]

When Sinema was 18, she landed a job as a school social worker in Phoenix and later became an adjunct professor of social work at Arizona State University. She has used her other various degrees working as a private practice attorney and policy instructor for the Center for Progressive Leadership, where she is a faculty and board member.

She is involved with many organizations such as Community Outreach and Advocacy for Refugees, Girls for a Change, Progressive Democrats of America and the Arizona Death Penalty Forum.[6]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Sinema's academic, professional and political career:[7]

  • 1995: Graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A.
  • 1995-2002: Social Worker
  • 1999: Graduated from Arizona State University with a M.S.
  • 2004: Graduated from Arizona State University with a J.D.
  • 2005-2011: Arizona House of Representatives
  • 2005-present: Attorney
  • 2006-present: Instructor, Center for Progressive Leadership
  • 2011-2012: Arizona State Senate
  • 2012: Graduated from Arizona State University with a Ph.D.
  • 2013-present: U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Sinema serves on the following committees:[8]

State Senate


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Sinema served on these committees:

  • Subcommittee on Health and Welfare


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[9] For more information pertaining to Sinema's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[10]

National security


Voted "Yes" Sinema voted for HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[11]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Sinema voted for HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 that was largely along party lines.[12]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Sinema voted for HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities. The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[13]


Farm bill

Voted "Yes" On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[14] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[15][16] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[16] Sinema voted with 88 other Democratic representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Voted "Yes" On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[17][18] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and 3 Democrats voting against the bill.[18] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[19] It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Sinema joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[17][18]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[20] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[21] Sinema voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[22]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[23] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Sinema voted for HR 2775.[24]

Federal Pay Adjustment Act

Voted "Yes" Sinema voted for HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees. The bill passed the House on February 15, 2013, with a vote of 261 - 154. The bill would prevent a 0.5% pay increase for all federal workers from taking effect, saving the federal government $11 billion over 10 years. Sinema was 1 of 44 Democrats who supported the bill, while 144 voted against it.[25]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Sinema voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[26] The vote largely followed party lines.[27]


Healthcare Reform Rules

Voted "No" Sinema voted against House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires that all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[28]

Social issues


Voted "No" Sinema voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196 that largely followed party lines. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[29]

40 under 40

Sinema was highlighted by Time Magazine as one of the 40 leaders under 40 who are "rising stars of American politics."[30]

Campaign themes


Sinema's campaign website listed the following issues:[31]

  • Jobs
Excerpt: "The number one job for Congress is creating a stronger economy, both nationally and here in Arizona. That means helping small businesses start and grow, because 90% of new jobs come from small businesses. And Sinema believes Congress needs to do more for the middle class, like protecting payroll tax cuts for working and middle-class families, such as those in the American Jobs Act, which would give a typical Arizona household an additional $1,430 in take-home pay."
  • Environment
Excerpt: "Half of the world’s energy will come from renewable resources by 2040. Developing clean energy will boost our economy, reduce the effects of global warming, and make Arizona a better place for all of us. And as the sunniest state in America, Arizona is in the drivers’ seat on job-creating solar energy. "
  • Education
Excerpt: "As both the daughter of an educator and a college professor herself, Kyrsten Sinema understands that strong schools are built on smart investments – small class sizes, hiring and keeping the best teachers and safe learning environments for students."
  • Immigration and Border Security
Excerpt: "Arizona shares the second-longest border with Mexico, after Texas. Every day, law enforcement fights a losing battle with criminal drug, weapons and human traffickers as well as workers and families looking for a better life here in Arizona."
  • Healthcare
Excerpt: "Health care has been the fastest growing expense for businesses and middle-class families. When President Obama moved in 2009 to improve health care by stopping insurance company practices like dropping coverage when you or a family become sick or refusing to cover pre-existing conditions, and strengthening Medicare to offer free preventive care and wellness exams, Sinema supported these and other important reforms to get health care costs under control for all."

Sinema's sponsored bills include while a member of the Arizona State House include:

  • HB 2150 - animals; fighting
  • HB 2483 - elected officials; officeholder expenses; accounts
  • HB 2543 - unmarried couples; responsibilities.
  • HB 2544 - schools; sex education

For a full listed of sponsored bills see the House website.

Ballot measures

Sinema has been active in ballot measure advocacy. She was the head of the 2008 campaign to defeat Proposition 102.[32] Sinema regularly sponsorsed legislation to restrict ballot initiative rights. She led a coalition to defeat Arizona Proposition 107 (2006).[33]



See also: Arizona's 9th Congressional District elections, 2014

Sinema is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. She will seek the Democratic nomination in the primary election on August 26, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

After much speculation that Sinema would run for re-election in the much safer 7th District, Sinema announced that she would be staying put and seeking re-election in District 9.[34]

Sinema is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[5]


See also: Arizona's 9th Congressional District elections, 2012

Sinema won the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Arizona's 9th District. She defeated David Schapira and Andrei Cherny in the Democratic primary on August 28, 2012. She then defeated Vernon Parker (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[35][36][37]

According to the website Daily Kos, this race was one of nine top-ballot 2012 races that contained a Libertarian candidate who received more total votes than was the difference between the Democratic winner and the GOP runner-up. In this case, Powell Gammill took in over 7,300 more votes than the number that separated Sinema and Parker.[38]

U.S. House, Arizona District 9 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKyrsten Sinema 48.7% 121,881
     Republican Vernon B. Parker 44.6% 111,630
     Libertarian Powell Gammill 6.6% 16,630
Total Votes 250,141
Source: Arizona Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Arizona District 9 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKyrsten Sinema 40.8% 15,536
David Schapira 30% 11,419
Andrei Cherny 29.3% 11,146
Total Votes 38,101


See also: Arizona House of Representatives elections, 2010

Sinema was eligible but did not seek re-election in 2010. She instead sought the District 15 seat of the Arizona State Senate. She defeated Republican Bob Thomas in the November 2 general election.[39]

Arizona State Senate, District 15 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes

Green check mark transparent.png Kyrsten Sinema (D) 18,013
Bob Thomas (R) 10,663


On November 4, 2008, Sinema and David M. Lujan were elected to the 15th District Seat in the Arizona House of Representatives, defeating opponent Ed Hedges (R).[40]

Sinema raised $34,285 for the campaign. Lujan raised $35,429, and Hedges raised $33,619.[41]

Arizona State House, District 15 (2008)
Candidates Votes

Green check mark transparent.png Kyrsten Sinema (D) 22,721
Green check mark transparent.png David Lujan (D) 23,781
Ed Hedges (R) 12,860

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Sinema is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Sinema raised a total of $2,368,161 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 22, 2013.[42]

Kyrsten Sinema's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Arizona, District 9) Won $2,167,384
2010 Arizona State Senate (District 15) Won $67,544
2008 Arizona State House (District 15) Won $34,285
2006 Arizona State House (District 15) Won $38,263
2004 Arizona State House (District 15) Won $37,968
2002 Arizona State House (District 15) Defeated $22,717
Grand Total Raised $2,368,161


Candidates for Congress are required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Sinema's reports.[43]

Kyrsten Sinema (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[44]April 15, 2013$48,923.27$333,062.76$(74,924.61)$307,061.42
July Quarterly[45]July 15, 2013$307,061.42$395,593.02$(155,279.28)$547,375.16
October Quarterly[46]October 15, 2013$547,375.16$329,040.77$(94,813.44)$781,602.49
Year-End[47]January 29, 2014$781,602$339,303$(99,316)$1,021,589
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Sinema's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Sinema won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Sinema's campaign committee raised a total of $2,167,384 and spent $2,118,461.[48] This is more than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[49]

Cost per vote

Sinema spent $17.38 per vote received in 2012.


In 2010, Sinema raised $67,544 in contributions.[50]

No contributions to her campaign were over $1,000.


Below are Sinema's top 5 campaign contributors in the 2008 election:[51]

Contributor 2008 total
Public Fund $31,060
Yolanda Garcia $130
Susan C Stevens $130
Michael Preston Green $130
James Manos $130


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Sinema is a "centrist Democratic follower" as of June 4, 2013.[52]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[53]

Sinema most often votes with:

Sinema least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Sinema missed 1 of 89 roll call votes from January 2013 to March 2013. This amounts to 1.1%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[54]

Net worth

See also: Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Sinema's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-50,000 and $-15,001. That averages to $-32,500, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Sinema ranked as the 425th most wealthy representative in 2012.[55]

Kyrsten Sinema Yearly Net Worth
YearAvg. Net WorthAvg. Citizen Net Worth

Voting with party


The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Sinema has voted with the Democratic Party 89.8% of the time. This ranked 181st among the 201 House Democrats as of June 2013.[56]


Sinema, an openly bisexual woman, is currently single.[1][4]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "Kyrsten + Sinema" + Arizona + Senate "Kyrsten+Sinema"+Arizona+Senate&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss Kyrsten Sinema News Feed

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See also

External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 MSN News, "First openly bisexual woman elected to Congress," January 12, 2013
  2. Current, "Campaigning Gay: Kyrsten Sinema for U.S. Congress," June 18, 2012
  3. "Sinema to resign seat for shot at 9th District,", January 3, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 National Journal, "Kyrsten Sinema Winner in Arizona's 9th District," November 13, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," accessed March 5, 2013
  6. Project Vote Smart, "Rep. Sinema," accessed August 31, 2012
  7. Biographical Director of the United States Congress, "Kyrsten Sinema," accessed June 12, 2013
  8. - Roll Call, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed January 18, 2013
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  10. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  11. Project Vote Smart, "HR 1960 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  12. Project Vote Smart, "HR 2217 - Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  13. Project Vote Smart, "HR 624 - CISPA (2013) - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  14. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  15. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  19. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  20. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  22. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  24. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. Project Vote Smart, "HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  26. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed September 16, 2013
  27. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  28. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  29. Project Vote Smart, "HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  30. Time Magazine, "40 under 40," October 2010
  31. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed August 10, 2012
  32. Arizona Daily Star, "Ballot issue on marriage still a hot button," October 10, 2008
  33. Arizona Republic, "State representative writes book on building coalitions," June 21, 2009
  34. Facebook, "Kyrsten Sinema," accessed March 7, 2014
  35. Arizona Secretary of State, "Official primary candidate list," August 28, 2012
  36. Associated Press, "Primary results," August 28, 2012
  37. ABC News, "2012 General Election Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  38. Daily Kos, "Libertarians provided the margin for Democrats and at least nine elections," November 15, 2012
  39. Arizona Secretary of State, "General election results," accessed December 13, 2013
  40. Arizona Secretary of State, "2008 general election results," November 4, 2008
  41. Follow the Moneym "Arizona House spending, 2008," accessed October 11, 2010
  42. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Kyrsten Sinema," accessed March 22, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Kyrsten Sinema Summary Report," accessed July 22, 2013
  44. Federal Election Commission, "Kyrsten Sinema April Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Kyrsten Sinema July Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  46. Federal Election Commission, "Kyrsten Sinema October Quarterly," accessed October 21, 2013
  47. Federal Election Commission, "Kyrsten Sinema Year-End," accessed February 4, 2014
  48. Open Secrets, "Kyrsten Sinema 2012 Election Cycle," accessed February 19, 2013
  49. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  50. Follow the Money, "2010 contributions," accessed December 23, 2013
  51. Follow the Money, "2008 Campaign contributions," accessed October 11, 2010
  52. GovTrack, "Kyrsten Sinema," accessed June 4, 2013
  53. OpenCongress, "Kyrsten Sinema," accessed July 30, 2013
  54. GovTrack, "Kyrsten Sinema," accessed April 2, 2013
  55. OpenSecrets, "Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  56. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 4, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
U.S. House, Arizona, District 3
January 3, 2013-Present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ken Cheuvront
Arizona State Senate District 15
2011–January 3, 2012
Succeeded by
David Lujan
Preceded by
Arizona State House District 15
Succeeded by
Lela Alston