Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — a swing voter in today’s 50-50 Senate — announced Friday that she has changed her party registration.
The Horn NewsOn Wednesday, we reported on speculations about Sinema switching to other parties.
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Sinema was the latest congressional Democrat who has left the party. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, left in October.
Since 2009, no sitting senator has switched parties. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania senator who had changed from Republican to Democrat in 2009, was the one doing so. Plus, since 2006, there has been no Senate Democrat who left the party, except Joe Libermann, who registered as an Independent.
The chamber also houses Bernie Sanders, Vermont and Angus King from Maine.
However, these two independents attend the Democratic caucus’ weekly meetings, and Sinema plans to those out (She reportedly misses many of the meetings, anyway.)
Sinema was previously a member of the Green Party. After starting her career in Green Party, she joined the Democrats in 2004. Sinema, who was left-leaning at the time, protested against Liebermann.
Sinema is now more moderate. She said that Sinema has moderated her political style, which she has copied from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington.”
Interview with the author on Friday PoliticoSinema has ruled out any caucusing between Senate Republicans. Instead, Sinema registered as an Independent.
In the Arizona Republic, she wrote that her first term senator had pledged to serve another term. “to be independent and work with anyone to achieve lasting results. I committed I would not demonize people I disagreed with, engage in name-calling, or get distracted by political drama. I promised I would never bend to party pressure.”
According to her, this is how she approaches things. “rare in Washington and has upset partisans in both parties”However “has delivered lasting results for Arizona.”
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Democrats were set to hold a 51-49 edge in the Senate come January after the victory Tuesday by Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s runoff election.
An analysis by The Washington Post. She promised to keep this tradition going despite the fact that she changed party registration. “Nothing will change about my values or my behavior,”She said.
Like fellow Democrat Joe Manchin, Sinema has often served as the Senate’s decisive vote against a bill. She withheld support for one bill in particular. “Inflation Reduction Act” until Biden’s promise to remove a proposed tax on investors.
She is facing reelection in 2024 and is likely to be matched up with a well-funded primary challenger after angering much of the Democratic base by cutting — or blocking — progressive priorities such as a minimum wage increase or Biden’s big social spending initiatives. It is not clear if she intends to run for another term.
Sinema’s most prominent potential primary challenger is Rep. Ruben Gallego, who has a long history of feuding with Sinema.
“When politicians are more focused on denying the opposition party a victory than they are on improving Americans’ lives, the people who lose are everyday Americans,” Sinema wrote. “That’s why I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington. I registered as an Arizona independent.”
Sinema refused to say whether she’ll run for re-election in 2024. She ruled out running for President.
This article was co-authored by the Horn editorial staff and the Associated Press.
The full article is available here here