February 3, 2023

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Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema has registered as an independent

2 min read

Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced Friday that she has registered as an independent, but she does not plan to caucus with Republicans, ensuring Democrats will retain their narrow majority in the Senate.

Sinema, who has modeled her political approach on the renegade style of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and has frustrated Democratic colleagues at times with her overtures to Republicans and opposition to Democratic priorities, said she was “declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington.”

In a video explaining her decision, she said: “Registering as an independent and showing up to work with the title of independent is a reflection of who I’ve always been. … Nothing’s going to change for me.’’

The first-term senator wrote in the Arizona Republic that she came into office pledging “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. I promised I would never bend to party pressure.”

She wrote that her approach is “rare in Washington and has upset partisans in both parties” but “has delivered lasting results for Arizona.” Sinema also said that she has “never fit perfectly in either national party.”

Before Sinema’s announcement, Democrats were set to hold a 51-49 edge in the Senate come January after the victory Tuesday by Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s runoff election. The Senate is now split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris the tiebreaking vote for Democrats.

Sinema told Politico in an interview that she will not caucus with Republicans and that she plans to keep voting as she has since winning election to the Senate in 2018 after three House terms.

She is expected to maintain her committee assignments through the Democratic majority, according to a Senate Democratic aide. Two current independents, Sens….

The Associated Press

2022-12-09 08:10:50

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