Arizona: Kyrsten Sinema Declared Winner in 9th District

Democrat Krysten Sinema has been declared the winner in Arizona's 9th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Democratic state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has officially defeated Republican Vernon Parker in Arizona's 9th District race, according to The Associated Press.

The narrow margin between Sinema and Parker put the race into overtime and led to a delay in declaring a winner, but Sinema has slowly increased her lead since Election Day.

Looking forward, this Phoenix-area seat will remain highly competitive. It is a new seat created after reapportionment and Sinema will be the first person to occupy it.

Republicans were hopeful that Sinema's selection as the Democratic nominee would give them the inside track to winning the race. Democrats had expressed concern about her candidacy because she has a lengthy background of controversial statements.

But even her toughest Democratic critics expressed admiration toward the end of the election season about how she ran her campaign.

Arizona has lagged behind most states in counting ballots. The battle for the Tucson-area 2nd District between Democratic Rep. Ron Barber and retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally is now the only outstanding race in the state.