Senator Kyrsten Sinema Leaves Democrat Party to Become Independent

Senator Kyrsten Sinema [Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has announced she is leaving the Democrat party to become an independent.

The move shakes up a Senate that was narrowly controlled by the Democrats.

Sinema said she is leaving due to disagreements with the party’s leadership on key issues.

“I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington… I registered as an Arizona independent, Sinema wrote in an opinion article in the Arizona Republic.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the move comes shortly after Democrats secured their 51st seat in the Senate chamber.

The report continues:

The news sent a jolt through Washington just days after Democrats secured their 51st seat in the chamber by winning a special election in Georgia, and the move raised questions about how often she would vote with Democrats. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine are both independents but caucus with Democrats.

Ms. Sinema didn’t say in her opinion article or a video she posted on YouTube whether she would caucus with Democrats.

Hannah Hurley, a spokeswoman for Ms. Sinema, said the senator will maintain her committee assignments with Democrats and will continue to not attend Democratic lunches, where the party discusses its plans. She didn’t answer directly when asked whether Ms. Sinema could still be considered a member of the Democratic caucus.

She touched on the affiliation a bit in an interview with CNN, “I don’t think things will change in terms of how I operate or the work I do in the United States Senate.”

Continuing sating the numbers in the Senate are “kind of a D.C. thing to worry about.”

Sinema has regularly worked with Republicans while being a reliable vote for Biden’s judicial and executive-branch nominees.