Arizona Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego announced Monday that he will run for the U.S. Senate in 2024, taking on the incumbent Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
Gallego’s campaign adds to a likely three-way race in the general election after Sinema switched her party affiliation in December.
“Growing up poor, all I had was the American dream. It kept me going: as a kid sleeping on the floor, a student scrubbing toilets, a Marine losing brothers in Iraq,” Gallego tweeted alongside a campaign launch video.
Growing up poor, all I had was the American dream. It kept me going: as a kid sleeping on the floor, a student scrubbing toilets, a Marine losing brothers in Iraq.
Today, too many Arizonans see their dream slipping away. I’m running for the U.S. Senate to win it back for you! pic.twitter.com/ofUvUYRcTP
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) January 23, 2023
“Today, too many Arizonans see their dream slipping away,” Gallego added. “I’m running for the U.S. Senate to win it back for you!”
The congressman’s jump into the Senate election will likely serve as part of a large field of candidates competing for the seat in the primary election. Among Republican contenders speculated to potentially run are Kari Lake, who lost in a run for governor in 2022, and Blake Masters, who lost in his 2022 Senate run against incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly.
Several other GOP candidates are also rumored for a potential Arizona Senate run in 2024. Among them are U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs, Juan Ciscomani, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, 2022 gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson, and Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward.
An early poll pitting Lake, Gallego, and Sinema in a three-way race in the general election shows Lake at 36%, Gallego at 32%, and Sinema at just 14%. One in six voters was undecided, according to Blueprint Polling’s January 11 survey.
The poll also noted that Sinema polls low among the state’s Hispanic voters.
“Sinema gets very little support from Hispanic voters, garnering 3% of their vote (Gallego leads Lake 41%-39% with this group), while Sinema gets the support of 17% of white Arizonans. Notably, Gallego does better with women by about 4% than with men, and Sinema enjoys a similar positive differential with men,” according to Blueprint Polling.
Sinema was often at odds with those in her own Democratic Party for not always backing President Joe Biden’s agenda. Most recently, the senator attended the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this month, where she spoke out against the Biden administration’s border policies.
“The key is to create a system where we get to choose as a nation who we will invite into the country and who we will not. Right now, because our immigration security system is completely broken, we are not choosing who gets to come and who doesn’t. The cartels are choosing,” she said. “And that is not sustainable for our country.”
The senator also drew attention in December after announcing that she was leaving the Democratic Party.
“In catering to the fringes, neither party has demonstrated much tolerance for diversity of thought,” Sinema wrote. “Bipartisan compromise is seen as a rarely acceptable last resort, rather than the best way to achieve lasting progress. Payback against the opposition party has replaced thoughtful legislating.”
Sinema is not alone among Democrats leaving the party. Former Hawaiian congresswoman and former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard announced her departure in October. At the state level, West Virginia state Sen. Glenn Jeffries left the Democratic Party in December to join the Republicans.