ARIZONA NEWS

Here’s how the process will work if Sen. Kyrsten Sinema seeks reelection as an independent

Dec 9, 2022, 11:17 AM | Updated: 4:45 pm

Sinema walking out of door....

A comprehensive border bill expected to release later in the week aims to address key challenges in border security and immigration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

PHOENIX — As an independent, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema would face a “burdensome” set of qualifying requirements to get on the ballot if she seeks reelection in 2024, an Arizona election law expert said Friday.

Sinema announced Friday she will leave the Democratic Party and register as an independent, saying she will “reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington.”

Arizona’s senior senator would need to gather a significantly higher signature minimum than party-affiliated candidates but would move directly to the general election if meets the threshold, election lawyer and former state elections director Eric Spencer told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Signature minimum requirements won’t be known until early 2024. Spencer estimated Sinema would need about 45,000 signatures, far greater than the typical 7,000-8,000 needed to get onto a party primary ballot.

“[Sinema] is allowed to gather from every eligible registered voter in Arizona, including Republicans,” Spencer said. “Whereas if she had stayed a Democrat, she would not have been allowed to collect signatures from Republicans or Libertarians.

“So the pool is broader and that makes up for the fact that the quantity is much bigger.”

Even though Sinema wouldn’t face a primary, she wouldn’t have more time to secure signatures.

Each Arizona voter can only sign one petition regardless of party, so Spencer believes Sinema would be smart to start collecting signatures immediately.

“She’d be well advised to start hitting the streets immediately,” Spencer said. “She’ll have to convince Republicans and Democrats that they should use their one available signature on her and I assume that means getting to them first and she could box out her opponents in that way.”

Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Friday she isn’t thinking about potential reelection.

“I’m not thinking about or talking about campaigns at all,” Sinema said. “I’m known for being a workhorse, so I’m going put my head down and keep doing the work right now.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Jamarr Dwayne Young, pictured above, is 33, authorities said. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office pho...

KTAR.com

Man accused of domestic violence killed bicyclist while fleeing from authorities, Phoenix police say

An Arizona man was arrested after allegedly killing a pedestrian while fleeing from Phoenix police, authorities announced on Friday.

47 minutes ago

Casita bill, or HB 2070, passed in Arizona House...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona House Democrat explains how ‘casita bill’ can help fight the state’s housing shortage

The so-called "casita" bill was passed by the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday. Rep. Analise Ortiz breaks down the benefits.

2 hours ago

north-korean-fraud...

Nick Borgia

Arizona woman accused of involvement in major North Korean fraud scheme

An Arizona woman is being prosecuted for allegedly assisting in North Korean fraud schemes to place overseas IT workers in U.S. positions.

3 hours ago

Peoria wants to build out a future airpark similar to the Scottsdale Airpark, pictured here, with a...

Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Peoria Airpark project could create thousands of jobs, millions in revenue

Plans for a new regional airport and employment center in Peoria could generate nearly 8,000 jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for the municipality, according to a study released this month.

6 hours ago

Authorities released these images from a 2022 assault in Gilbert in January 2024. An arrest was mad...

KTAR Video

Video: SHORT: Why are prosecutors cutting deals with youth violence suspects and alleged Gilbert Goons?

Some of the young adults arrested in connection with violent gang-related attacks in the East Valley are getting deals from prosecutors. Chris Merrill shares his thoughts.

7 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: Why are prosecutors cutting deals with youth violence suspects and alleged Gilbert Goons?

Some of the young adults arrested in connection with violent gang-related attacks in the East Valley are getting deals from prosecutors. Chris and Joe wonder how victims and others experiencing youth violence feel. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Here’s how the process will work if Sen. Kyrsten Sinema seeks reelection as an independent