Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has left the Democrat Party to register as an Independent, explaining in a striking op-ed published on AZCentral that her Senate seat “doesn’t belong to Democratic or Republican bosses in Washington.”
Sinema’s departure from the Democrat Party could make matters difficult for Senate proceedings. According to Fox News, her seat switch likely won’t upset the Democrat Senate majority’s functionality, but Sinema has not yet clarified if she will caucus with Democrats.
Per the Epoch Times, the Senate was narrowly captured by Democrats this week with Sen. Raphael Warnock’s reelection in the Peach State, giving them a 51-seat majority. However, with Sinema’s departure, it looks like the Senate will be split 50-50, with Kamala Harris acting as the tie-breaker vote.
In her op/Ed, Sinema shared her viewpoint on her party switch:
“Like a lot of Arizonans, I have never fit perfectly in either national party. Becoming an independent won’t change my work in the Senate; my service to Arizona remains the same. Arizonans who’ve supported my work expanding jobs and economic opportunity, or my opposition to tax hikes that would harm our economic competitiveness, should know my focus on these areas will continue.”
She further noted that “Arizonans – including many registered as Democrats or Republicans – are eager for leaders who focus on common-sense solutions rather than party doctrine.”
Sinema additionally cited the issue of politicians who “are more focused on denying the opposition party a victory than they are on improving Americans’ lives” and stated that she was joining the “growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington.”
In a sit-down interview with CNN, Sinema gave more insight into her decision, adding that she, along with a growing number of voters, just “don’t fit neatly into one party’s box” and that she “had decided to leave that partisan process.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., commented on Sinema’s announcement on Friday on Twitter, pointing out that Sinema joined former Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard this year in walking away from the Democrat Party once and for all.
“Hope many more see the light!” Boebert wrote.