Sinema Leaves Democratic Party, Registers As An Independent
Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has announced that she is leaving the Democratic Party and registering as a political independent.
“In a natural extension of my service since I was first elected to Congress, I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington and formally registering as an Arizona Independent,” Sinema, 46, tweeted early Friday morning.
The tweet came hours after she revealed her decision in a CNN TV interview on Thursday.
“I’ve registered as an Arizona independent. I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this, but actually, I think it makes a lot of sense,” Sinema she told host Jake Tapper.
“I’ve never fit neatly into any party box. I’ve never really tried. I don’t want to,” she added. “Removing myself from the partisan structure – not only is it true to who I am and how I operate, I also think it’ll provide a place of belonging for many folks across the state and the country, who also are tired of the partisanship.”
“Over the past four years, I’ve worked proudly with other Senators in both parties and forged consensus on successful laws helping everyday Arizonans build better lives for themselves and their families,” the Arizona senator said. “Becoming an Independent won’t change my work in the Senate; my service to Arizona remains the same.”
Sinema’s announcement comes just days after Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock won reelection in Georgia, securing Democrats a 51st Senate seat that frees them from reliance on Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote.
Sinema’s move away from the Democratic Party is unlikely to change the power balance in the next Senate. Democrats will have a narrow 51-49 majority that includes two independents who caucus with them: Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine.
The new Senate makeup will help Democrats overcome certain procedural hurdles and could also weaken the negotiating power of conservative Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sinema on major Democratic priorities.
Over the past four years, I’ve worked proudly with other Senators in both parties and forged consensus on successful laws helping everyday Arizonans build better lives for themselves and their families. 2/3
— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) December 9, 2022
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