Report: Rep. Ruben Gallego to announce bid for Kyrsten Sinema’s Senate seat next week
PHOENIX — Democratic U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona reportedly is planning to announce next week that he’s running for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat in 2024.
Gallego has been teasing a Senate run for some time while building a campaign staff. On Friday, Newsweek reported that he will make it official Monday.
Sources told the news magazine that Gallego will make the announcement in a video shot in his Phoenix-based district.
Gallego has been an outspoken critic of Sinema, especially since she switched her affiliation from Democrat to independent last month.
Kyrsten Sinema hasn’t held a town hall in Arizona for years. Instead, she flies to Switzerland for a town hall with the rich and powerful. Not a Joke!
I haven't made a decision on running, but I'm one step closer today. If you're with me, chip in here:https://t.co/kF1jVO0rxg
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) January 17, 2023
Gallego tweeted Tuesday that he hasn’t made a decision about taking on Sinema, but he said “he was one step closer” while asking for donations.
The Marine veteran would instantly become the 2024 Democratic primary favorite. Another potentially strong candidate, Rep. Greg Stanton, took himself out of consideration on Thursday.
Gallego previously hired two consultants from Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly’s recent reelection victory. Gallego’s team also includes members of firms that worked on two other successful 2022 Democratic campaigns, John Fetterman’s in Pennsylvania and Raphael Warnock’s in Georgia.
Sinema didn’t directly respond when asked about a potential challenge from Gallego during an interview Friday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.
“I understand why you’re having to ask me this question, but as I’ve been saying for months now, a never-ending focus on campaign politics is why so many people hate politics,” she said.
“We just got through a really grueling election cycle, and I think most Arizonans want to break.”
Sinema, who became Arizona’s first Democratic U.S. senator in more than 20 years when she was elected in 2018, hasn’t confirmed that she will seek reelection.
“I’m not really thinking or talking about the election right now — although others are — I’m staying focused on the work,” she said.
If she does run again, Arizona could see a hotly contested three-way race in the general election.
No Republicans have thrown their hats into the ring yet, but the primary field could include the likes of Kari Lake, who lost to Gov. Katie Hobbs in the 2022 general election, and Blake Masters, who lost to Kelly.
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb and Karrin Taylor Robson, who lost to Lake in the 2022 GOP primary, are also considered potential GOP candidates for Sinema’s seat.
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