The decade's most triggering comedy
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) is preparing to run for re-election in 2024.
Sinema, who ran as a Democrat in 2018 but disaffiliated from the party in December 2022, is gearing up to run for a second term in 2024, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Sinema’s third-party campaign could set up a competitive three-way Senate race in the battleground state of Arizona, a potential nightmare scenario for Democrats.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Sinema’s team discussed the timeline for the campaign at a staff retreat this week. One of the meetings included a slideshow presentation about the campaign. One of the slides laid out the timeline for the rest of this year, including conducting internal polling and opposition research by September 30 and filling out campaign staff by December 31.
Another slide touts the Senator’s independent streak. “Kyrsten is an independent voice for Arizona,” the slide reportedly read. “As Arizona’s senior senator, she’s committed to ignoring partisan politics, shutting out the noise and delivering real results helping everyday Arizonans build better lives for themselves and their families.” Sinema was a thorn in the side of Senate Democrats during the last Congress: she refused to cast a vote to break the filibuster in order to pass Democratic bills overhauling the American election system and enshrining abortion into federal law.
Sinema has already made a filing with the FEC to run as an independent, a key step allowing her to raise money for the campaign. While she hasn’t released public numbers, WSJ reported that she has already raised some $2 million in the first three months of 2023 and has just under $10 million cash on hand. She is also broadening her fundraising net, staying on Democratic donation platform ActBlue, but also bringing on an additional platform.
However, in order to appear on the ballot, she needs to gather signatures from 3% of non-party affiliated voters in the state, roughly 40,000 total. The filing deadline to appear on the ballot in Arizona is April 2024.
Running as an independent could set up a three-way contest in the Grand Canyon State. Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego announced that he was running against Sinema in January. “Growing up poor, all I had was the American dream,” he captioned a video announcement on Twitter. “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!”
On the Republican side, it’s still an open question who will challenge Sinema. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb will reportedly announce his candidacy next week. Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake reportedly encouraged Lamb to run for Senate, but recently she has been mulling a run of her own. Former Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters is also mulling a run. Republican Rep. Andy Biggs, former Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh, former 2022 Senate candidate Jim Lamon, and former 2022 gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson are other names being floated for the Republican nomination.
Sinema disaffiliated from the Democratic Party in 2022, citing excessive partisanship. In recent weeks, she has criticized Senate Democrats, and also reportedly has an antagonistic relationship with the Arizona Democratic Party.