Longtime state legislator Andrea Dalessandro is well on her way to defeating Republican challenger Shelley Kais in the Arizona Senate District 2 race.
Dalessandro, who served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2012-14, moved on to the Senate four years ago.
Her district, which includes much of Tucson, as well as parts of Sahuarita and Green Valley in southern Pima County, voted overwhelmingly to send her back to Phoenix.
As of 9:48 p.m., Dalessandro had a commanding 17 percent lead over Kais, virtually assuring her reelection.
Dalessandro thanked her constituents for their support on Election Night, saying her victory speaks to the bond she shares with those that live in the region.
"It feels terrific, because I’m a strong voice for Southern Arizona," she said. "I support the teachers and the students, and that’s what motivated me to run a decade ago."
Dalessandro said she's hopeful that the onslaught of women that won their elections at the state and federal level on Tuesday speaks to a demographic shift in America.
She also was hopeful that her longtime friend and former statehouse colleague Krysten Sinema would win her Senatorial campaign.
"I have personal relationships with both Congresswoman Sinema and Congresswoman [Ann] Kirkpatrick. They’re both personal friends of mine," Dalessandro said. "And I know that 45’s message—he got his base out—but he really motivated women across America to vote for other women, for professional women that work hard."
Dalessandro, who also knocked off Kais by double-digits in 2016, believes she's the right person to vouch for those that live in and around Pima County, saying she's thrilled to go back to the statehouse to represent everyone.
"I wish we had more pickups in the Arizona legislature, but, I’m ready to be a strong voice for Southern Arizona," she said.