Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona made her decision to leave the Democratic Party and register as an independent public on Friday.
“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,” she wrote on Twitter.
Sinema has long been regarded as one of the more centrist representatives in Congress, drawing criticism from the Democratic Party for her refusal to support filibuster reforms and for working with West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to block the passage of significant legislation in the 50-50 Senate. She stated that filing as an independent was indeed the best way to represent her voters because a deeply divisive political climate had made significant policy advancement challenging.
She expanded on her choice in a Friday op-ed in the Arizona Republic by stating that “In catering to the fringes, neither party has demonstrated much tolerance for diversity of thought,”.
Like fellow independent senators Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the Arizona senator has not indicated whether she would formally caucus with the Democrats, according to CNN. Sinema, who is running for re-election in 2024, has generally sided with Democrats in his voting.
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. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/jUQHAeuxym
— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) December 9, 2022
“Most Arizonans believe this is a false choice, and when I ran for the U.S. House and the Senate, I promised Arizonans something different,” she wrote. “I pledged to be independent and work with anyone to achieve lasting results. I committed I would not demonize people I disagreed with, engage in name-calling, or get distracted by political drama.”
Sinema originally announced the move in an interview with CNN Thursday evening.
“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 remarked.
More on this story via The Western Journal