Progressive Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) will be the first notable Democrat to announce he will run for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.)’s seat in 2024, according to multiple reports, setting up what could become a rare one and fiercely contested three-candidate competition should Sinema decide to run again after leaving the Democratic Party.
Gallego will reportedly make a formal announcement on Monday.
Sinema was elected to the Senate as a Democrat in 2018 but became an independent last month after she and Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) frustrated fellow Democrats in the previous Congress by refusing to change the filibuster rules and several Bits of stone bricked legislation.
Sinema has portrayed herself as a centrist, but Gallego is an outspoken progressive who has done so voiced Support for Medicare for All and raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Sinema has not said if she is seeking re-election in 2024.
Gallego’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from forbes about his plans.
Sinema remains a member of the Senate Democratic caucus and votes consistently in line with President Joe Biden’s positions, but her opposition to abolishing the filibuster and her refusal to support a comprehensive spending bill left her ahead of most in the first half of Biden’s tenure alienate other Democrats. She and Manchin effectively scuppered the “Build Back Better” spending package in late 2021 and early 2022, citing concerns about the multi-trillion-dollar social spending proposal that exacerbated inflation. Another key Democratic legislative priority died early last year when Sinema and Manchin voted against removing the 60-vote threshold in a bid to break the filibuster and pass a national voting rights law. The Arizona Democratic Party reprimanded her for the decision early last year. Sinema said her move to leave the Democratic Party was a “natural extension” of her votes in office and claimed she joins “the growing number of Arizonans who oppose party politics.”
Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) said Thursday he would not run for the Senate seat.
No prominent Republicans have announced they will run for the Arizona seat in 2024, but several far-right figures such as Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, and 2022 Senate candidate Blake Masters should consider this running.
Sinema Won’t Support Filibuster’s Elimination — Effectively Killing the Democrats’ Voting Rights Act (Forbes)
Arizona Sen. Sinema Quits Democratic Party and Becomes Independent (Forbes)
Here’s why the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget plan could impact every single American (Forbes)
Arizona Democratic Party’s Kyrsten Sinema reprimanded for refusing to change filibuster rules (Forbes)