Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will not run for re-election in Arizona

By 37ci3 Mar5,2024

Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced Tuesday that she will not seek re-election this year, leaving the Senate after a term that painted Arizona blue, abandoned the Democratic Party and played a key role in numerous legislative negotiations in the tightly divided Senate. .

“I will leave the Senate at the end of this year because I choose humanity, understanding, listening, working together to get things done,” Sinema said. X said in a video posted on his account.

Sineman’s decision opens up a difficult and expensive fight for his seat – although it will be simpler than the messy three-way contest he would have if he stayed. Leading Republican, 2022 gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and leading Democrat. , Rep. Ruben Gallego is already working hard to replace Sinema.

Sinema said in his video that guerrilla warfare carried the day.

“Compromise is an ugly word. We came to that crossroads and chose anger and division. I believe in my approach, but this is not what America wants right now,” Sinema said.

Sinema’s decision comes at a time when his prospects of winning if he is nominated appear dim. Voting for the race is sparse, but polls have consistently shown Sinema in third place in a hypothetical three-way race with Gallego and Lake. It was not clear which candidate he would get more support from.

It should be noted that Sinema believed that he was stronger with the Arizona Republicans than his former party. On the prospect This was reported by NBC News Last September, Sinema told donors the path to victory was to attract 10% to 20% of Democrats, 60% to 70% of independents and 25% to 35% of Republicans.

Gallego praised Sinema on news of his departure.

“As we look forward, Arizona is at a crossroads. Protecting access to abortion, eliminating housing affordability, securing our water supply, protecting our democracy — all of these things and more are on the line,” he said. .”

Lake also praised Sinema in a statement: “We may not agree on everything, but I know he shares my love for Arizona. Despite the overwhelming pressure of the filibuster, Sen. Sinema had the courage to stand up to the far left. Radicals in his party like Ruben Gallego will support him every day. called to burn the thing.”

Republicans hoping to regain control of the Senate this year see Arizona as a potential opportunity. Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate, and the GOP needs a net gain of two seats to win the chamber outright or one seat plus the tie-breaking vice presidency.

Sinema’s political arc has been extraordinary, from Green Party organizer to former GOP favorite Democrat in the US Senate. In 2004, he became a Democrat and was elected to the Arizona legislature. At a progressive convention in 2011, he called Arizona “the meth lab of democracy” while criticizing legislation pushed by state Republicans. He ran for the US House of Representatives in 2012 and won, where his voting record showed some centrist bona fides. He used this moderate approach to win the Senate in 2018, ending a losing streak for Democrats statewide.

Kyrsten Sinema during an interview on Capitol Hill
Kyrsten Sinema during an interview on Capitol Hill on May 18, 2023. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Sinema was a key voice in Biden’s first two years in a 50-50 Senate seat, using his influence to shape his signature Inflation Reduction Act and single-nix provisions he opposed, such as tax rate hikes on corporations and the wealthy, and pushed back. a provision aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. It has been at the center of numerous successful bilateral negotiations, including on infrastructure and arms security.

Cinema he left his party to become independent It still helps Democrats retain control of the Senate in 2022. It followed an irreconcilable rift between Sinema and Arizona Democrats, as he blocked some legislation proposed by Biden and voted to block Democratic efforts to override the Senate filibuster to advance voting rights legislation.

Previous key allies, such as EMILY’s List, have said they will no longer support Sinema, and there has been talk of Gallego challenging her in the Democratic primary. He has announced that he will leave the Democratic Party and become an independent in December 2022, but Sinema has not indicated whether he will run for re-election.

Sinema’s influence has waned since Republicans took control of the House and Democrats won one seat in the Senate in 2023. The Arizona senator negotiated a border security deal with Democrats and Republicans earlier this year, but Republicans blocked it.

“What I’ve demonstrated in my five years in the United States Senate is that I have a proven track record of bringing different interests and groups together, finding common ground and moving forward with bipartisan solutions,” Sinema told NBC News in December. in the midst of border bill debates.

And as he often does, he shrugged off a question about his re-election plans, dismissing it as a sideshow compared to his legislative work: “I’m 100% focused on delivering real results,” Sinema continued.

Arizona’s tendency to become a purple state was confirmed in 2020, when Biden narrowly carried the state against then-President Donald Trump. In 2022, another Arizona senator, Democrat Mark Kelly, won his re-election race by 5 percentage points, but in another state race, now-Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, beat Lake by less than 1 point.

Other key 2024 battleground races include Democratic Sen. John Tester of Montana and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, both running for re-election, while in West Virginia, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is not seeking another term.

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By 37ci3

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