Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Rep. Ruben Gallego Announces Bid for Sinema’s Arizona Senate Seat

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego announced he’ll challenge independent U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2024, becoming the first candidate to set up a potential three-way contest.

Gallego, a 43-year-old military veteran first elected to Congress in 2014, made no secret in his interest in challenging Sinema, a longtime rival in Arizona politics. She left the democratic party in December, becoming independent and saying she doesn’t “fit well into a traditional party system.”

He said he’d fight for normal people struggling to make ends meet and losing faith and politics and emphasized that he and Sinema both come from “modest to poor means” but have taken different paths in Congress.

“I’m better for this job than Kyrsten Sinema because I haven’t forgotten where I came from,” Gallego told The Associated Press. “I think she clearly has forgotten where she came from. Instead of meeting with the people that need help, she meets with the people that are already powerful.”

A three-way race, combined with the risk that Sinema and the eventual Democratic nominee will split the vote, complicates the party’s battle to control the Senate in 2024. Democrats need to defend 23 seats, including Sinema’s and two other independents, compared with ten seats for Republicans.

With tough and expensive races coming up, it is unclear how major donors will line up against Sinema, who has voted for most Democratic legislation even as she’s stood in the way of major priorities for the White House.

“I’m assuming that they will be with us because we are going to run the winning campaign, and because at the end of the day, if you look at where Arizonans are going to be, they’re going to be with us and not with her,” Gallego told the AP.

U.S. News