In an interview, Thursday with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, announced that she has left the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent. Sinema told Tapper, “I’ve registered as an Arizona independent. I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this, but actually, I think it makes a lot of sense.” Sinema added, “I’ve never fit neatly into any party box. I’ve never really tried. I don’t want to.”
Expressing her frustration with the partisanship of Congress, Sinema continued, “Removing myself from the partisan structure – not only is it true to who I am and how I operate, I also think it’ll provide a place of belonging for many folks across the state and the country, who also are tired of the partisanship.”
To explain why she left the Democratic Party, Sinema released an op-ed at AZcentral.com:
There’s a disconnect between what everyday Americans want and deserve from our politics, and what political parties are offering.
I am privileged to represent Arizonans of all backgrounds and beliefs in the U.S. Senate and am honored to travel to every corner of our state, listening to your concerns and ideas.
While Arizonans don’t all agree on the issues, we are united in our values of hard work, common sense and independence.
We make our own decisions, using our own judgment and lived experiences to form our beliefs. We don’t line up to do what we’re told, automatically subscribe to whatever positions the national political parties dictate or view every issue through labels that divide us.
Each day, Arizonans wake up, work and live alongside people with different views and experiences, usually without even thinking about partisan politics.
Arizonans expect our leaders to follow that example – set aside political games, work together, make progress and then get out of the way so we can build better lives for ourselves and our families.
It’s no surprise that Washington, D.C., often fails to reflect that expectation.Read more at AZcentral.com
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Sinema’s decision to leave the Democratic Party comes less than two months after Tulsi Gabbard also abandoned what she referred to as the “elitist, woke, anti-white” Democratic Party. With Sinema’s departure from the party, there are concerns that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. VA) will have more sway than he has in the past.
Questions have also risen as to whether or not Sinema will caucus with Democrats like other independent Senators, Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (ME), but so far, Sinema has declined to comment on the concern. Sinema has confirmed that she intends to keep her committee assignments.