Kyrsten Sinema Announces She’s Leaving the Democratic Party

It’s official — Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema is changing her party affiliation to independent.

Sinema says she will not caucus with Republicans and suggested that she intends to vote the same way she has for four years in the Senate. “Nothing will change about my values or my behavior,” she said.

Sinema said she “never really fit into a box of any political party” and the switch is a reflection of the independent state she represents and millions of unaffiliated voters.

Unlike independent Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (Maine), Sinema won’t attend weekly Democratic Caucus meetings, but she rarely does that now. She isn’t sure whether her desk will remain on the Democratic side of the Senate floor.

Sinema would not address whether she will run for reelection in 2024, and informed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of her decision on Thursday.

With rumors of a primary challenge in 2024 from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), becoming an independent would insulate her from a head-to-head challenge from Gallego or another progressive.

She insisted that she won’t deviate from her past approach to confirming Democratic presidential appointees, whom she scrutinizes but generally supports, and said she expects to keep her committee assignments through the Democrats (she currently holds two subcommittee chairmanships). Nor, she said, will anything change about her ideology, which is more socially liberal than most Republicans on matters like abortion and more fiscally conservative than most Democrats.


Read more at Politico.