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Arizona’s Next Senator Won’t Be Wealthy, Whomever Voters Choose

Both Sinema and McSally rank among the bottom of Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress

The next senator from Arizona doesn’t have much in the bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).
The next senator from Arizona doesn’t have much in the bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).

Arizona’s first woman Senator won’t have much in the bank, regardless of whom voters choose Tuesday. Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema both rank toward the bottom of Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress index, both lacking the big bucks common among many of their Capitol Hill colleagues.

Both Arizonans had already served the public in some way before running for public office. McSally served decades in the Air Force and Sinema was a social worker and lawyer for a public school district. Neither got rich.

Sinema reported zero assets in her most recent financial disclosure filing and her student loan debt puts her net worth in negative figures. She lists between $15,001 and $50,000 in student loan debt, but does not report having a mortgage or car payment in her filing. 

Sinema’s education — a law degree and a Ph.D. — racked up most of her debt, and she didn’t chase big paychecks with her diplomas. Careers in social work and political organizing predate her time in Congress. She also served as a criminal defense attorney for a time and taught classes at Arizona State while pursuing the Ph.D. 

McSally’s net worth is approximately $100,000, according to financial disclosures used for the most recent Wealth of Congress. The former combat pilot and Air Force colonel reported $300,000 in assets, including 18 acres of land valued between $100,001 and $250,000, and six separate 529 education savings accounts for her three nieces and three nephews, each valued at between $1,001 and $15,000.

McSally owns a home in Arizona, but she’s borrowed heavily against it. In addition to a mortgage, she carries debt for a car loan. She doesn’t hold student debt like Sinema. That’s because McSally’s education, including time in the Air Force Academy and at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, was paid for by the military.

Either McSally or Sinema will join Republican Jon Kyl in the state’s Senate delegation. Kyl’s net worth back in 2009 was estimated at $632,586. But after that, he left the Senate and went into private practice with the lobbying group at Covington & Burling. Those gigs tend to pay a pretty penny, so his current worth could be much higher. Kyl’s current financial disclosures are not available since his appointment to fill the seat vacated by the late Sen. John McCain came in August.

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