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HomePoliticsIndependent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will not run for re-election in Arizona

Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will not run for re-election in Arizona

Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced Tuesday that she will not run for re-election this year, leaving the Senate after one term that saw her paint Arizona blue, leave the Democratic Party and play a key role in numerous legislative negotiations in a tightly divided Senate.

“I will leave the Senate at the end of this year,” Sinema said in a video posted on her X account.

Sinema’s decision paves the way for a tough and expensive fight for her seat — though it will be more straightforward than the messy three-way contest she would have prompted by staying in. The leading Republican, 2022 gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, and the leading Democrat, Rep. Ruben Gallego, are already running hard to replace Sinema.

Sinema’s decision comes as her prospects of victory appeared dim if she ran. Polling on the race is sparse, but surveys have consistently shown Sinema in third place in a hypothetical three-way contest featuring Gallego and Lake. It was unclear which candidate she would have pulled more support from.

Notably, Sinema believed she was stronger with Arizona Republicans than with her own former party. In a prospectus reported by NBC News last September, Sinema told donors her path to victory was to attract 10% to 20% of Democrats, 60% to 70% of independents and 25% to 35% of Republicans.

Republicans, who are hoping to flip the Senate back into their control this year, are eyeing Arizona as a potential pickup opportunity. Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate, and the GOP needs a net gain of two seats to win the chamber outright or one seat plus the tie-breaking vice presidency.

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