BREAKING: Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema drops Dems to become Independent

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema as officially switched her party affiliation to Independent and left the Democratic Party, she announced Friday morning.

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema as officially switched her party affiliation to Independent and left the Democratic Party, she announced Friday morning. 

The moderate senator made the announcement via video and accompanying article in AZ Central called "Why I'm registering as an independent."

In the video, posted to Twitter, Sinema emphasized that being an Independent is more reflective of her true values, as well as the values of Arizona constituents.

"We make decisions about what's best for ourselves, our family, and our community," Sinema opened the video. "And so we don't spend a lot of time thinking about 'Is this a Republican idea, or is this a Democrat idea?,' 'Is this liberal or is this conservative?' That's not how Arizonans think."

"What I love about serving is that I get to hear from Arizonans day in and day out about what's working in Washington, or more frequently, what's not working in Washington," she continued.

She went on to describe how being an Independent aligns more with her values, stating that she will continue to fight for all Arizonans in the Senate.

"And I really am grateful that folks have trusted me to take back those concerns that they have. I promised them I would be an independent voice for our state. I promised that I would always do what is right for the people of Arizona. And that's what I've done," Sinema said. 

"Registering as an Independent and showing up to work with the title of Independent is a reflection of who I've always been, and it's a reflection of who Arizona is. It's a reflection of the folks that I talk to at the grocery store, hear from at the park. It's who we are as a people. We don't line up to do what we're told. We do what's right for the state and for our country. I'm going to be the same person I've always been."

"Nothings' going to change from me. And I don't think anything's going to change for Arizona," she added.

In the same thread, she posted her op-ed.

"There’s a disconnect between what everyday Americans want and deserve from our politics, and what political parties are offering," she began.

In the piece, she highlighted the discontent that many Americans feel with their choices of representation, regardless of where on the political spectrum they may be. 

"While Arizonans don’t all agree on the issues, we are united in our values of hard work, common sense and independence," Sinema wrote. She continued on to note her achievements in the U.S. Senate, including voting for infrastructure bills, expanding benefits for military veterans, and strengthening mental healthcare.

"In catering to the fringes, neither party has demonstrated much tolerance for diversity of thought. Bipartisan compromise is seen as a rarely acceptable last resort, rather than the best way to achieve lasting progress," Sinema wrote. "Payback against the opposition party has replaced thoughtful legislating."

She went on to lambast the two-party duopoly. 

"Americans are told that we have only two choices – Democrat or Republican – and that we must subscribe wholesale to policy views the parties hold, views that have been pulled further and further toward the extremes," she said.

"Most Arizonans believe this is a false choice, and when I ran for the U.S. House and the Senate, I promised Arizonans something different. I pledged to be independent and work with anyone to achieve lasting results. I committed I would not demonize people I disagreed with, engage in name-calling, or get distracted by political drama," she continued.

She went on to describe how many other Arizonans are also feeling disenfranchished by both major parties.

"It's no wonder a growing number of Americans are registering as independents. In Arizona, that number often outpaces those registered with either national party," Sinema said. "When politicians are more focused on denying the opposition party a victory than they are on improving Americans' lives, the people who lose are everyday Americans. "

"That's why I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington," the 46-year-old politician added.

"I registered as an Arizona independent. "

In a statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, she recognized the senator for some of her legislative accomplishments and said that the White House still expects to be able to work with her.

"We understand that her decision to register as an independent in Arizona does not change the new Democratic majority control of the Senate, and we have every reason to expect that we will continue to work successfully with her," Jean-Pierre stated.

According to ABC15 political analyst Garrett Archer, there is actually a "benefit" to Sinema switching her party affiliation.

"Good morning. Registered independents running for office in AZ have a much higher signature gathering threshold. (About 45k minimum statewide in 2022)," Archer wrote on Twitter.

"Benefit is you don't need to run in a primary. Seems important today for some reason," he said.

According to the Arizona Secretary of State website, "the minimum number of signatures required is found by calculating 3 percent of the total registered voters who are not members of a political party." That number listed on the site is 43,492.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.


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