Arizona state senator Kyrsten Sinema has resigned from her post to pursue a U.S. House seat that has been created due to redistricting. If elected, Sinema would be the first openly bisexual member of Congress.
Sinema announced her candidacy Tuesday on her website. In her announcement Sinema said her financially strapped youth and grassroots work have prepared her for Congress.
"Someone needs to speak up for us, for the forgotten middle class and the powerless in our society," she said.
Sinema, born in Tucson, was first elected to the state house in 2004. She teaches at Arizona State University while also practicing law. Currently, she lives outside of the new ninth district, but she said she is considering moving within its boundaries.
The new district includes Tempe and parts of Mesa and Phoenix, according to The Arizona Republic. The race is considered a toss-up between Democrats and Republicans. State senator David Schapira, a fellow Democrat, has set up an exploratory committee, seeking feedback from voters on whether he should run. State Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherney and former congressional candidate Jon Hulburd are also eyeing a race for the seat. Republican U.S. representative Ben Quayle lives in the ninth district but represents the third district, and has been considering switching to the more conservative-leaning sixth district.