Kirsten Cinema Drops Out of Arizona Senate Race

Sen. Kirsten Sinema of Arizona said Tuesday she would not seek re-election, ending more than a year of speculation about her political future and ultimately eliminating a traditional contest between the Democratic and Republican candidates.

“I will leave the Senate at the end of this year because I am civil, understanding, listening, working together to get things done,” he said in a video announcement.

Ms. Cinema, a first-term senator who defected from the Democratic Party to become an independent in 2022, faces long odds in another race. His decision to drop out of the race now sets up a direct showdown between Rep. Ruben Gallego and the eventual Republican nominee. Kari Lake, a former candidate for governor — and former President Donald J. Sheriff Mark Lamb is running for the Republican primary — a close Trump ally who championed his baseless election fraud theories.

Even after leaving the party and a reliable vote for parts of President Biden's agenda, Ms. Sinema continued to caucus with Democrats, angering Democrats by blocking efforts to raise taxes on corporations and aligning with fellow centrist Senator Joe Mnuchin III of the West. Virginia, to stop efforts to weaken the filibuster.

Ms. Cinema, a calculated and charismatic politician, has had a dramatic tenure in Washington after winning a close 2018 race against Republican Martha McSally to become Arizona's first elected female senator.

Progressives have been angered by her firm thumbs down on her bid to raise the minimum wage in 2021, protesters have chased her through airports and activists have criticized her for siding with business interests over forgotten campaign promises she made to Arizona voters. Arizona Democrats condemned him after he refused to change the filibuster to pass the Voting Rights Act, and said they were, in essence, disappointed but not surprised that he left the party altogether.

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