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Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema faces criticism after vote against changing filibuster

Posted at 1:13 PM, Jan 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-22 15:33:12-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema is facing criticism for her vote against changing the filibuster.

While many state democrats are unhappy about Sen. Sinema's decision not to vote yes on the filibuster—she has admirers like Arizona Governor Doug Ducey who gave her credit for standing up for her beliefs.

Gov. Ducey said "I want to give Senator Sinema credit for standing up and protecting a senate rule that she believes in."

But among her own party, her approval is plummeting.

Director of Progress Now Arizona, Emily Kirkland said "Her approval rating among democrats in Arizona is 8%. So the level of frustration is there among voters, organizers, and volunteers who worked so many hours to get her into that position. It's there among donors and different groups."

Many democratic organizations, including Emily's List, a campaign group focused on electing female democrats—warned they would withhold further campaign contributions to Sinema if she did not support the filibuster.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Emily's List is the biggest single contributor to Senator Sinema's campaign with over $400,000 donated from 2015 to 2020.

Following Wednesday's no vote, Emily's List president, Laphonza Butler said in a statement:

"We believe the decision by Senator Sinema is not only a blow to voting rights and our electoral system, but also to the work of all of the partners who supported her victory and her constituents who tried to communicate the importance of this bill. As a result ... We will no longer be able to endorse Senator Sinema moving forward."

It's important to note that Senator Sinema has voted to support those voting rights bills -- but she does not support changing the filibuster rules needed to pass them.

In a statement, following Wednesday's vote, Sinema said:

"I also maintained my longstanding opposition to separate actions that would deepen our divisions and risk repeated radical reversals in federal policy -- cementing uncertainty and further eroding confidence in our government."

CNN is reporting that representative Ruben Gallego says he has received a number of calls from senate democrats to run against Sinema in 2024.

Gallego represents the 7th Congressional District, which covers parts of Phoenix. He has not ruled out a 2024 run.

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