Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Won’t Seek Reelection Or Pursue Presidential Run

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) said on Tuesday that she will not run for reelection in the highly competitive state or make a third-party presidential run, which will be critical to her former Democratic Party’s chances of maintaining its narrow majority.

Sinema’s decision clears the way for an expected head-to-head contest in the November 2024 election between Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego, a former Marine veteran who served in Iraq, and Kari Lake, a Republican who lost a bid for Arizona governor in 2022.

Sinema, 47, was elected in 2018 as a Democrat but drew her party’s ire after she foiled some policy proposals of President Joe Biden along with moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. They refused to support any change to the Senate’s filibuster rule to allow Democrats to enact primary voting rights legislation.

Sinema was a key negotiator on President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure investment bill enacted in 2021. Just this year, she was one of three main negotiators on border security and immigration reform bills offered in the Senate.

Following her clashes with fellow Democrats, Sinema changed her party affiliation to independent in Dec. 2022. She continued caucusing with the Democrats in their 51-49 majority, although she said in subsequent media interviews that she rarely attended caucus meetings even before formally leaving the party.

She blamed an increasingly partisan tone of U.S. politics for her decision to leave office.

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

Her move came as Americans in more than a dozen states cast ballots in Super Tuesday primary elections, with former President Trump seeking to strike a knockout blow in his run for the Republican nomination to challenge President Biden in November.

Sinema’s retirement announcement came the week after Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who has represented Kentucky in the Senate since 1985, said he would retire from his leadership role at year’s end following a record-long run.

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