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    Kyrsten Sinema won’t seek 2024 reelection to Arizona Senate seat: ‘Not what America wants’

    By Emily Jacobs,

    2024-03-05

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3hr5Gy_0rhIHRZp00

    Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) announced on Tuesday that she will not seek a second term, setting her Democratic and GOP challengers up for a two-way race.

    The independent senator’s decision to not run for reelection comes after nearly a year of speculation about her political future. Should she have chosen to run, the race would have put Sinema’s theory that most voters have also spurned their party identity to the test. Polls indicated it would be an uphill climb for an independent to build enough of a centrist coalition to win statewide.

    "I believe in my approach," Sinema said in a video announcement. "But, it's not what America wants right now. I love Arizona and I am so proud of what we’ve delivered.

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

    Despite her enormous influence as one of the most coveted swing votes in a closely split Senate, Sinema's low approval rating in Arizona and public breakup with the Democratic Party had made her the most vulnerable incumbent up for reelection in the 2024 election cycle.

    Sinema had continued to fundraise this year despite not launching her 2024 campaign, leading to even more questions about her reelection plans.

    Sinema was two years into her first term when President Joe Biden ascended to the White House and Democrats just barely clinched control of the Senate with the help of Vice President Kamala Harris's tiebreaking vote. Despite Harris's vote, which she has in the VP's capacity as president of the Senate, Democrats still lacked a filibuster-proof majority that would allow them to pass most legislation through the body.

    She and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) became foes within the party for their refusal to support eliminating the 60-vote filibuster threshold as the rest of the Senate Democratic Conference got on board. The two faced an intense, very public pressure campaign to shift their stance on the issue as Biden's agenda stalled.

    Sinema, in particular, was turned into a boogeyman among Democrats for her refusal to defend her position publicly as frequently as Manchin, who maintains a rigorous press schedule. For his part, Manchin opted against seeking reelection next year as it became clear his chances of winning the race were slim.

    Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who emerged as a prominent Sinema critic as she began bucking her party under Biden, launched a bid to unseat her in January. Gallego is expected to easily win the nomination with Sinema not running in the Democratic primary.

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    Instead of remaining with the party as Gallego continued to outperform her in primary polls, Sinema announced last December that she had registered as an independent. While the move protected her from a primary fight, it also set her up for challenges from both sides of the aisle. In addition to Gallego on her left, Sinema's embattled position left Republicans jumping at the chance to run to her right.

    Republican Kari Lake , the party’s 2022 gubernatorial candidate who refused to concede her loss to Gov. Katie Hobbs (D-AZ), launched her bid for the GOP nomination in October. She has met with NRSC leadership despite her controversial reputation, as Republicans try to coalesce around a single candidate in hopes of securing a victory in a swing-state race.

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