Editor’s note: Jon Gabriel is FacebookRicochet.com website Opinion writer for the Arizona Republic.Follow him on Twitter @ExJon. The views expressed here are his own.read more comments On CNN.
Mori. Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema has always defied labels. One day she competed in a triathlon; another she did a thumbs down curtsy in the Senate. One weekend, she teaches a course at a university; the next she officiates at a wedding.
From the wild deserts of her hometown to the formalized cloakroom of Capitol Hill, Arizona’s “manic pixie dream senator” confuses partisans as some cartoonists mock her. The big one came on Friday, when Sinema announced she was leaving the Democratic Party and becoming an independent.
“Americans are being told that we have only two choices — Democrats or Republicans — and that we must embrace policy views held across parties that have become increasingly extreme,” Sinema wrote in an op-ed wrote. Arizona Republic.
“Most Arizonans thought it was the wrong choice, and when I ran for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, I promised Arizonans something different.”
Make a promise and keep your promise.
From Barry Goldwater to John McCain and now Cinema, Arizona has been the home of the “maverick” senator. For decades, the state has consistently rewarded politicians who dared to contradict party bigwigs and politicians.
Despite their complaints on Friday, Arizona Democrats kicked her out of their party.
Last year, while teaching her class at Arizona State University, progressive activists chased Sinema into a bathroom while filming. Other protesters showed up at the wedding she officiated, demonstrating outside the venue.
Earlier this year, Arizona Democrats voted to condemn Sinema, the party chairman Raquel Terán Persevere It was “the result of her failure to do everything she could to ensure the health of our democracy”.
Voto Latino, which describes itself as “a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latino voters,” had previously announced a six-figure investment to remove Sinema in the 2024 primary election.
“Sinema’s actions directly undermine and suppress the rights and well-being of the Latinos who elected her to office,” Voto Latino said at the launch of its “Adiós Sinema” campaign.
The group’s efforts began around the same time as Democratic House members. Arizona’s Ruben Gallego reportedly met with some Sinema donors in New York, sparking speculation he might challenge her from the left.
The congressman has been critical of the senior senator from Arizona. “We will not back down from protecting our democracy and the right to vote for all Americans,” Gallego said In a battle in the Senate over changes to filibuster rules. “The time for the U.S. Senate and senators is over. Movie theaters are doing the same.”
With a 50-50 tie in the incumbent, efforts to oust her from Democrats would have ceded the Senate to Republicans. After Rafael Warnock’s victory in Georgia on Monday, Democrats will retain control but only barely.
Sinema politely responded to the constant attacks from her own party, but finally gave in to their demands: She left.
“More and more Americans are being left behind by the rigid partisanship of the national political parties, which has intensified in recent years,” Sinema wrote in an op-ed last week. fringes, letting the loudest, most extreme voices dictate the priorities of their respective parties and expecting the rest of us to obey.”
That also applies to Republicans in Arizona, where voters rejected a gubernatorial candidate they deemed too extreme, Carrie Lake.
In Arizona, Republicans have a party registration advantage of nearly 35 percent of voters, but a full 34 percent are registered independents, a number that has been growing, according to the secretary of state’s office. (Democrats have about 31 percent.)
When Sinema faces her constituents in 2024, independents may have overshadowed both parties, allowing her to succeed without the baggage of two increasingly extreme party bases.
Since serving in the state legislature, Sinema has cultivated a gentle sincerity. In the House and Senate, her mailings and ads are seas of flag-waving and smiling veterans. She barely mentioned any parties, instead emphasizing her “independence” and willingness to work with literally “anyone” on big issues.
She was popular on both sides, developing working relationships and personal friendships with political opponents over the years. Sinema is a politician savvy enough to know that voters in the country expect politicians to get things done, even if it means — shudder — working across the aisle.