Four years after her election, US Senator Kyrsten Sinema declared her intention to leave the Democratic Party.
But she made it clear that she would not join the Republicans in the legislature but would serve as an independent.
The Democratic Party still holds the majority in the upper house because Vice President Kamala Harris votes to break a tie.
The Arizona senator claimed her decision was motivated by a desire to combat a “broken partisan system.”
She claimed in a Twitter video that working with the label independent and registering as an independent is a representation of both who she has always been and of Arizona.
We don’t follow orders in a line; instead, we act in our state’s and nation’s best interests.
Along with Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Maine’s Angus King, who back the Democratic party, she is the only independent senator in the Senate.
On Thursday, the 46-year-old informed Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of her decision; however, she chose not to say whether or not she plans to run for reelection in 2024. According to US media, she reportedly informed the White House of her plans.
Practically speaking, the Senate’s 51-49 majority due to Democratic Senator Rafael Warnock’s victory in Georgia earlier this week may not be significantly affected by the ruling.
The new Democratic majority leader of the Senate is unaffected by her decision to register as an independent in Arizona, according to a statement from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. We have every reason to think we will continue working well together.
Senator Sinema has long been ready to vote outside the party line on various topics. However, some of her actions have incensed local party officials in Arizona, despite the White House’s description of her as a “key partner” in several of President Joe Biden’s legislative accomplishments.
In August, she was the last Democrat to reject Vice President Biden’s $700 billion (£577 billion) tax and climate change proposal.
She supposedly already knew that Congressman Ruben Gallego would be her primary opponent in 2024 before she made her choice.
The Republican party’s once-vice-like hold on Arizona politics has waned recently. The first string of Democratic Party triumphs began in 2018 with Senator Sinema’s victory over Martha McSally.
Since then, former astronaut Mark Kelly has taken over the state’s other senate seat, and Katie Hobbs was elected governor in last month’s midterm elections.
The immediate effects for the US Senate, where Democrats have recently secured a strong majority of 51 to 49, are uncertain. The committee will still have the power that comes with that bigger majority if Ms. Sinema cooperates with the Democrats, as she promised. Republicans will, however, likely earn an effort to sway her.
Democrats should be more concerned about Ms. Sinema’s term ending in 2024 as Arizona’s senator. It appears She still has re-election on her mind, given how she declared independence. The possibility that she would have a challenging rival for the state’s Democratic nomination has increased. She might now face off against a Republican and a Democrat in a three-way general election.
Although Arizona has a reputation for favoring outspoken people, it might be difficult for an independent candidate to prevail without the endorsement of one of the two major US parties.