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Sinema Emphasizes Healthcare During Flagstaff Campaign Stop

Ryan Heinsius

Polls show the contest for Arizona’s open U.S. Senate seat is virtually tied with only a handful of days left in the campaign. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the Democrat in the race, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, recently visited northern Arizona to speak with locals about a range of issues affecting the region.

Sinema met with a few dozen seniors at the informal campaign stop at Flagstaff’s Toasted Owl restaurant Tuesday. They discussed gun violence, public lands, the country’s political climate, and healthcare, an issue she’s made central to her campaign.

"Up and down the state, people have told me what they’re most worried about is having access to affordable healthcare. Those who have insurance are worried that they can’t afford it and it’s not good enough; those who don’t have it are worried that they’re one disaster away from bankruptcy," she said.

Healthcare has emerged as hot-button issue during the campaign. Sinema and her rival, Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally, have sparred over last year’s GOP attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Recent polls have shown Sinema with a slight edge in the race, but they’re still within the margins of error, and most political observers consider it a toss-up. They’re competing in Tuesday’s general election to replace retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake. The winner will become Arizona’s first female U.S. senator.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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