Kyrsten Sinema announces she's running for Senate

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema has announced she's running for Senate.

Sinema made the announcement on YouTube Thursday.

She hopes to unseat Republican Jeff Flake, who's expected to be challenged in the primary with the backing of heavy hitters in his own party. 

[RELATED: US Rep. Kyrsten Sinema donates $53,400 to Phoenix group]

[MORE: Dem AZ Rep. Sinema 'seriously considering' Senate challenge ]

Sinema was once regarded as one of the more liberal lawmakers in Arizona serving in the state Legislature.

But since she's been in Washington, she has earned a reputation as a moderate Democrat.

She will be the heavy favorite to win the Democratic primary where she faces only token opposition.

[RELATED: Another Democrat jumps into race to challenge Sen. Flake]

“I owe a large debt to my country. I got my shot and now it's my duty to help others get theirs,” said Sinema. “I never believed that being homeless was going to stop me from being who I wanted to be. When I went off to college, I knew I wanted to help other people get their shot at the American Dream, because that dream came true for me.”

Sinema pointed to her ability to deliver for Arizonans in the United States Senate as a reason for running: “Whether it’s a veteran who can't get his benefits or needed treatment at the VA, a widow who needs Social Security, a business owner who's struggling with red tape, or parents worried their kids won’t have a better life than they have, I get to help people solve their problems. What a privilege.”

[READ MORE: Poll shows voters disapprove of Sen. Flake's job performance]

Finally, Sinema pledged to work on issues important to Arizonans by working with Republicans and Democrats: “It's time to put our country ahead of party, ahead of politics. It's time to stop fighting and look for common ground. It’s time for us to stand up and answer the call. We can fix a broken Washington and make it work again.”

[You can watch the YouTube video announcement HERE.]

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