Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema said she would never join the Republican party.
Sinema, who left the Democratic party last year, told Face the Nation‘s Margaret Brennan she is “absolutely” done with party affiliation during an interview which premiered Sunday.
“You don’t go from one broken party to another,” Sinema told Brennan, who asked if the former Democrat would become a Republican.
The Arizona Senator, who is speculated to run as an Independent, has not officially announced a 2024 re-election campaign.
Kyrsten Sinema blames "both parties" for the debt limit crisis pic.twitter.com/wwuKcrJtBe
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 7, 2023
“One of the unfortunate things that’s happening in Arizona, and we see this in other parts of the country as well, is that the two political parties have gotten more and more extreme,” Sinema told Brennan. “They’ve moved away from that center of working together and finding that common ground, and they’re going toward the fringes because that’s where the money is, and that’s where the attention is, and that’s where the likes on Twitter are, and that’s where you get the clicks and the accolades.”
“We have differences, differences which should be celebrated. That’s an important part of a democracy. But those differences shouldn’t stop us from getting things done,” she continued. “I hope that that demonstrates to Arizona and to America that our system works better when we put down the partisanship, when we seek to find the common ground.”
The Arizona Senator announced she was departing from the Democratic party and registering as an Independent in December, citing “rigid partisanship.”
At the time, Sinema said:
Everyday Americans are increasingly left behind by national parties’ rigid partisanship, which has hardened in recent years. Pressures in both parties pull leaders to the edges, allowing the loudest, most extreme voices to determine their respective parties’ priorities and expecting the rest of us to fall in line.
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. Payback against the opposition party has replaced thoughtful legislating.
In a CNN interview with Jake Tapper, Sinema reiterated her decision, saying she’s “never neatly fit into any party box.”
“Removing myself from the partisan structure – not only is it true to who I am and how I operate, I also think it’ll provide a place of belonging for many folks across the state and the country, who also are tired of the partisanship,” she said.
In January, fellow Arizonan Ruben Gallego, who currently represents Arizona in the United States Congress, officially announced he would seek Sinema’s Senate seat in 2024.
“Most families feel that they are one or two paychecks away from going under. That is not the way that we should be living in this country,” Gallego said in his announcement video. “The rich and the powerful, they don’t need more advocates. It’s the people that are still trying to decide between groceries and utilities that need a fighter for them.”