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

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)...

(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

Dignitaries, including U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, center, break ground on the new ...

Associated Press

Work resumes on $10B renewable energy transmission project in southwestern Arizona despite tribal objections

Federal land managers briefly halted work on the SunZia transmission line earlier this month after Native American tribes raised concerns.

2 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: How MCSO extradited Lori Vallow Daybell to Phoenix

KTAR News reporter Colton Krolak breaks down Sheriff Paul Penzone’s presser regarding how Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office extradited ‘Doomsday Mom’ Lori Vallow Daybell to Phoenix.

3 hours ago

Lori Vallow Daybell was extradited from Idaho to Maricopa County on Nov. 30, 2023. (MCSO YouTube Sc...

Here’s how MCSO extradited ‘Doomsday Mom’ Lori Vallow Daybell to Phoenix

Lori Vallow Daybell was extradited from Idaho to Phoenix this week, a task Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said Thursday required meticulous planning.

4 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: Sheriff Paul Penzone explains Lori Vallow Daybell extradition from Idaho, booked in Phoenix jail

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone joined KTAR News’ Gaydos & Chad to discuss ‘Doomsday Mom’ Lori Vallow Daybell being extradited from Idaho and booked into Phoenix jail. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

5 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: What is doomspending and why is it spreading across the United States?

Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

5 hours ago

Ring doorbell outside front door of home...

Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

Here’s a guide on how to adapt to smart technology for seniors

In this week's article, we will look at some ways we can approach smart technology and how it can expand our world as we age.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.

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