WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Democrats gained another caucus member Tuesday as Arizona’s Mark Kelly was sworn in, but it was the state’s other senator that stole the show.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema wore a short purple wig and zebra-print shawl as she held the bible that Kelly used while taking the oath of office.
Sinema’s ensemble caught some off guard as it was starkly different from the suits that Kelly and Vice President Mike Pence were wearing.
However, Sinema’s wig is not new. Actually, she’s been wearing it and other colored wigs on the Senate floor throughout the pandemic for a special reason.
A masked Senator Kyrsten Sinema identifying herself here by pointing at her purple-pink hair was a moment. Watch: pic.twitter.com/OB7uM5JdUt
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) May 4, 2020
A spokesperson for Sinema told The Arizona Republic that the senator is wearing the cheap wigs to show her solidarity with Americans who are practicing social distancing, especially hair salons, to avoid the spread of the coronavirus during the pandemic.
Sinema is normally a platinum blonde with the help of hair dye and the wigs help cover her natural color as she avoids getting her hair done.
“Kyrsten is continuing to call attention to the need for all of us to stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing — which she is diligently practicing, including from her hair salon,” wrote spokeswoman Hannah Hurley in a statement obtained by The Arizona Republic.
Many states are urging their residents to take necessary precautions and to avoid non-essential businesses as coronavirus cases spike to their highest level since the pandemic began in March.
According to Johns Hopkins’ figures, local health officials reported 3,157 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, shattering the previous record of 2,607 set in April.
Sinema became the first Democratic senator elected from Arizona since 1988 when flipped a seat vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake in 2018. She’s the state’s first female senator and the first openly bisexual senator in the history of the Senate.
Kelly was sworn in before any of the other senators elected in November because he won a special election for the seat vacated by the late Sen. John McCain. The addition of the former astronaut narrows the Republican control of the Senate to a 52-48 advantage.
The Democrats’ only hope of taking control of the Senate would be to win Georgia’s two runoff elections, which would result in a 50-50 chamber, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris breaking tie-breaking votes.