Kyrsten Sinema Leaves the Democratic Party


Sasha Callaway '23, Editor-in-Chief of 'The Legend'

Arizona Senator, Kyrsten Sinema, officially leaves the Democratic Party to register as an Independent. Sinema was first elected to the Senate in 2019 as a Democrat but is now transitioning to the Independent Party. 

In a recent interview, Sinema explains that she didn’t like the idea of having to conform to a party’s political standards. Simply put, she prefers the political freedom that comes with registering as an Independent. Moreover, she was frustrated with the current partisan political system. Although this seems like a big change in the scope of national politics, Sinema’s transition has little effect on the Democratic power in the Senate. Though narrow, the Democrats will still hold the majority in Senate at 51 seats compared to the Republicans at 49 (including caucus). 

Following the announcement that Sinema was to leave the Democratic Party, many questioned if she were still to caucus with them. For example, Independent Senators Bernie Sanders (VM) and Angus King (ME) caucus with the Democratic party, which helps favor Democratic power in the Senate. However, Sinema is rejecting to make a concrete statement on this matter. Though, one can assume that she will most likely be a swing in regards to caucus as she is choosing to reject the partisan system. 

Sinema also notes that her new political affiliation will not change her ideals. Instead, she argues that she has always allied with Independent policies and that her transition was a long time coming. She has previously been crucial in efforts regarding gun reform, LGBTQ+ security, infrastructure, etc., and is promising to continue to push similar policies. 

Though many months away, officials are already starting to question Sinema’s reelection to the Senate in 2024. Liberally aligned Arizona Representative, Ruben Gallego, is already being pushed to run against Sinema in the 2024 election. 

Sinema states that she will continue working on her previously supported policies and work for what she believes is the best for Arizona and America at large.