Kyrsten Sinema Announces She Won't Seek Reelection

The independent senator from Arizona lamented the death of civility and compromise in American politics.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) announced on Tuesday she won’t be seeking reelection in November, ending months of speculation about her political future.

In a video released by her office, Sinema complained about the death of civility and compromise in American politics.`

“The only political victories that matter these days are symbolic, attacking your opponents on cable news or social media. Compromise is a dirty word,” Sinema said. “I believe in my approach. But, it’s not what America wants right now.”

“Because I choose civility, understanding, listening, working together to get stuff done, I will leave the Senate at the end of this year,” she added.

Sinema’s decision not to run for reelection means that Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is now set for a one-on-one race with election denier Kari Lake, the likely Republican candidate, in November.

National Republicans believe Sinema’s exit will boost Lake’s chances of flipping the seat and winning control of the Senate next year.

“An open seat in Arizona creates a unique opportunity for Republicans to build a lasting Senate majority this November,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement. “With recent polling showing Kyrsten Sinema pulling far more Republican voters than Democrat voters, her decision to retire improves Kari Lake’s opportunity to flip this seat.”

Earlier public polls of a hypothetical matchup between Lake and Gallego have found Gallego leading or the two candidates neck-and-neck, with a large number of undecided voters.

Lake, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, has been the outspoken supporter of Jan. 6, 2021, rioters, characterizing those prosecuted for their actions as “political prisoners.” She has also been a vocal critic of the late GOP Sen. Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Gallego on Tuesday invited Sinema to help him defeat Lake in November.

“Protecting abortion access, tackling housing affordability, securing our water supply, defending our democracy — all of this and more is on the line,” Gallego said in a statement. “That’s why Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike are coming together and rejecting Kari Lake and her dangerous positions.”

Sinema left the Democratic Party and became an independent in 2022. She has been fiercely criticized by some on the left for standing in the way of progressive priorities in the Senate, including a higher minimum wage, higher corporate tax rates, and the elimination of the filibuster. Those positions helped to effectively sour her standing with Democratic voters in Arizona. Her only path forward, had she chosen to run for reelection, would have been gathering enough signatures to appear on the ballot as an independent ― a difficult and risky campaign.

Still, Sinema was deeply involved in crafting all the major bipartisan bills that passed in Congress in recent years, including the gun safety overhaul, infrastructure reform, new protections for gay marriage and improvements to the Electoral Count Act, to name a few.

But it was the most recent negotiation over U.S. immigration and border policy that seemed to shake Sinema’s belief in bipartisan compromise.

Senate Republicans ― many of whom Sinema was closest to ― rejected her border bill at the last minute, leaving her fuming and now heading for the exits.

“These solutions matter,” Sinema said of her bipartisan accomplishments on Tuesday. “They make an impact in the lives of everyday Americans. And this is how government should work. It has been an honor to serve Arizona for the past 20 years.”

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