ARIZONA NEWS

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema says leaving Democratic Party won’t change how she serves Arizona

Dec 9, 2022, 8:07 AM | Updated: 9:14 am

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks at a news conference after the Senate passed the Respect for Marria...

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks at a news conference after the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act at the Capitol Building on Nov. 29, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Newly minted independent U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said her decision to leave the Democratic Party won’t change the way she serves her constituents.

“Folks in Arizona know that I’m not one to go sit in any party’s luncheons or talk with them about the party politics of the day,” Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Friday, shortly after she announced the move.

“I haven’t done that for years, and I won’t be doing it now.”

Sinema wouldn’t say if she’s planning to run for reelection in 2024 or speculate about how becoming an independent would impact her electorally. She said she’s more concerned about working on current issues such as immigration and the defense budget.

“Arizonans can expect me to stay focused on the work and to leave the partisan punditry to others, which … is what I’ve done for years,” she said.

“I just don’t engage in the partisan bickering, the gotcha politics, the tit for tat on Twitter. I ignore all of that and leave it to others.”

Sinema said she intends to retain her Senate committee positions. That includes her chair roles on the Government Operations and Border Management Subcommittee and Aviation Safety, Operations and Innovation Subcommittee.

“I think today’s announcement is just a natural extension of the work that I’ve been doing on behalf of Arizona for the last number of years in the United States Senate and before that in the U.S. House,” she said.

“The reality is, not much has changed. I’m going to keep doing what I do.”

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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema says leaving Democratic Party won’t change how she serves Arizona