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Our View: Sinema deserves help in addressing rural Arizona issues

November 14, 2018

Senator-elect Kyrsten Sinema deserves congratulations as the first Arizona woman to win a Senate seat and for a campaign that successfully sidestepped her progressive Democratic roots.

She was elected as a candidate unfettered by party chains, a Democrat who will be able to reach across the partisan aisle and find real solutions to vexing problems. That was her promise to moderates.

It was her go-to pitch to those disaffected Republicans who disfavor President Trump for style reasons.

She did that while retaining votes of the liberals without making public promises to the left wing.

She’s the first Democrat placed in the Senate by Arizonans in almost a quarter century.

Sinema will carry large expectations into her new role. Most of the voters will want to see the senator her campaign promised.

Her election, along with other strong showings from down-ballot Democrats revealed by late-counted votes, also further affirmed the urban-rural split is growing deeper in Arizona.

Arizona is generally regarded as a red state. The state is attracting and growing younger residents, mostly to urban areas. And there are lots of them. Most counties not named Maricopa, Pima and Coconino strongly turned out for Martha McSally.

Sinema, to our knowledge, didn’t campaign in Mohave County. It’s difficult to say how attuned she may be to non-urban issues including the economy, roads and transportation and water. She’ll need to know good jobs are a big topic outside of the cities. She’ll need to know roadways are insufficient. She’ll need to understand that when cities grab water rights, they do so from the rest of Arizona.

The rural areas need to make a concerted effort to make sure the senator-elect knows about the rest of Arizona outside of the big cities.

She deserves the help of Mohave County and other rural counties in understanding those issues so she can make them better. We hope she does extremely well in her new role of representing all of Arizona.

— Today’s News-Herald

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