Forward Thinking

Krysten Sinema Wins Hot Arizona Primary

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

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Krysten Sinema

Arizona congressional hopeful Krysten Sinema prevailed last night in a closely-watched Democratic primary against two Jewish opponents.

With all precincts reporting, Sinema had 12,329 votes, or 42%, compared to 9,043, or 31% for David Schapira and 7,978, or 27% for Andrei Cherny.

As the Forward reported last month, Sinema battled claims from opponent Andrei Cherny throughout the primary race that she was anti-Israel.

“It’s this weird story that one of my opponents has decided he wants to tell,” Sinema said at the time. “So I had to spend a lot of time telling folks… the truth.”

Cherny, a former Clinton aide and a favorite of major centrist players in the national Democratic Party, is a onetime party official with roots in California. Unlike both Sinema and David Schapira, the third Democratic candidate, Cherny has never held elected office in the district.

That lack of local name recognition likely played more of a role in Cherny’s defeat then Sinema’s work to prove her pro-Israel bona fides. In a state where Jews make up only 1.7% of the population, the Israel issue likely wasn’t the deciding one.

Sinema will face Republican Vernon Parker, a town councilman, in the general election in November. It’s unclear who will win the newly-carved district, which observers say is evenly split between Republican and Democratic voters.


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