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Sen. Sinema will not run for reelection

Cites division and anger in current politics
Posted at 7:04 PM, Mar 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-05 21:04:18-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema will not run for reelection. She announced her decision with a video released midday Tuesday.

Kyrsten Sinema began her career on the far left. By the time she won a seat in the Senate she had moved to the center, and used that position to be a key player in bipartisan efforts to pass major bills on tough issues like immigration. But now she says the polarized politics she tried to overcome make it too hard to accomplish what she wants to achieve.

Kyrsten Sinema says crossing party lines helped her achieve useful change for Arizona and the rest of the country but modern politics make her approach hard to sustain.

She says, “The only political victories that matter these days are symbolic, attacking your opponent on cable news or social media, Compromise is a dirty word. We’ve arrived at that crossroads and we chose anger and division. I believe in my approach but it’s not what America wants right now.”

So Sinema will step down from the United States Senate at the end of her one and only six year term.

Sinema angered some Democrats with her stands.

University of Arizona Political Scientist Kate Kenski says Sinema was polling as number three in a three way race that assumes Ruben Gallego for the Democrats, and Kari Lake for the Republicans.

She says, “The numbers looked like it was about 36% in Gallego’s favor, 30% in Lake’s favor and 21% for Sinema.”

Kenski says now candidates have to figure out how to attract Sinema’s voters— because with Republican-Democrat margins so close, one seat could decide which party controls the Senate.

“So Arizona matters. They really have to figure out what it was that was drawing her to them, and they have to choose if either the Republican or the Democrat appeals to whatever made them want to be independent versus choose one of the major parties.”

Now the question is what will Krysten Sinema do next. Retired Senators can find plenty of ways to stay active. Their political skills and contacts can keep them influential in politics and business.

Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 40 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.