UPDATED 10:53 AM PT – Friday, December 9, 2022
Senator Kyrsten Sinema has registered as an Independent, shocking Democrats. The 46-year-old claimed that switching parties is a natural progression in a political career.
Although the senator from Arizona won’t declare whether or not she’s running for re-election in 2024, Sinema (I-Ariz.) did indicate in an interview that she doesn’t anticipate any changes to the Senate’s workings. She didn’t confirm if she would join the group of Independent senators who caucus with Democrats, including Senator Angus King (I-Maine). However, Sinema did mention that she will not caucus with Republicans.
“I intend to show up to work, do the same work that I always do. I just intend to show up to work as an Independent,” Sinema said.
On Friday morning, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) said on CNN that Sinema’s decision doesn’t negate the Democrats controlling the Senate.
Prior to changing her party status to Independent, Sinema faced a potential primary challenge from Representative Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) who said on MSNBC last month that Sinema “did nothing” to support Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.
A statement was released by the Primary Sinema Political Action Committee about her decision to leave the Democratic Party.
“Today, Kyrsten Sinema told us what we’ve already known for years: She’s not a Democrat, and she’s simply out for herself. For the last year, we’ve been laying the groundwork to defeat KyrstenSinema because Arizonans deserve a Senator who cares about them, and not special interests. In one way, Sinema just made our jobs easier by bowing out of a Democratic primary she knew she couldn’t win. Now, we’ll beat her in the general election with a real Democrat.”