Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will not run for re-election

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05 Mar 2024, 3:31 pm

The Democrat-turned-independent is leaving the Senate after one term

Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced Tuesday that she will not run for re-election this year, leaving the Senate after one term that saw her paint Arizona blue, leave the Democratic Party and play a key role in numerous legislative negotiations in a tightly divided Senate.

“Because I choose civility, understanding, listening, working together to get stuff done, I will leave the Senate at the end of this year,” Sinema said in a video posted on her X account.

Sinema’s decision paves the way for a tough and expensive fight for her seat — though it will be more straightforward than the messy three-way contest she would have prompted by staying in. The leading Republican, 2022 gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, and the leading Democrat, Rep. Ruben Gallego, are already running hard to replace Sinema.

In her video, Sinema said partisan warfare has carried the day.

“Compromise is a dirty word. We’ve arrived at that crossroad, and we chose anger and division. I believe in my approach, but it’s not what America wants right now,” Sinema said.

Sinema’s decision comes as her prospects of victory appeared dim if she ran. Polling on the race is sparse, but surveys have consistently shown Sinema in third place in a hypothetical three-way contest featuring Gallego and Lake. It was unclear which candidate she would have pulled more support from.

Notably, Sinema believed she was stronger with Arizona Republicans than with her former party.

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