Election 2022

Kyrsten Sinema blasted for being “noticeably absent” from Democratic campaign events

Kyrsten Sinema
Sen. Kyrsten SinemaPhoto: Gage Skidmore/via Wikipedia

A prominent Democrat in Arizona is calling out the state’s senior U.S. senator, out bisexual Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), for not helping Democrats enough this past election cycle and pointing out that she is up for reelection in 2024.

“Senator Sinema was nowhere to be found,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) told MSNBC. “At all.”

“We did not see her at one public event for anybody and when we had some of these races that are really in the mix right now, she could have been a very good surrogate to help out a lot of our candidates, and she did nothing. Because she only cares about herself.”

“She doesn’t care about how this will help us take control of the Senate,” he said, referring to Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D-AZ) reelection campaign. “She actually predicted that we would lose control of the Senate in front of [Republican Senate leader] Mitch McConnell while she was getting an award from him.”

“She either needs to get on the team, get involved or try to make some future decisions about what she wants to do with her career.”

Gallego was even more biting on Twitter. Sinema tweeted last week for everyone to be patient as “the results [are] finalized” and said, “Democracy is always worth the wait.”

“Thanks for all your help this year,” Gallego responded, adding an upside-down smiley face to show that he was being sarcastic.

Sinema’s absence from the campaign scene, even in the week leading up to the election, was notable. She skipped a major pre-election rally in Phoenix intended to energize voters that was spearheaded by former President Barack Obama.

Her office did not say why she did not attend.

Just after the Obama event, the Arizona Capitol Times said that Sinema had been “noticeably absent from the campaign trail in Arizona” and that local Democrats “are remaining largely mum on why the state’s senior senator isn’t stumping for her party’s nominees in extremely close statewide races.”

Sinema has spent the last two years being one of two Democratic U.S. senators – along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) – most opposed to President Joe Biden’s and Congressional Democrats’ major progressive initiatives. She and Manchin both opposed ending or limiting the filibuster, the Senate procedure that requires 60 votes instead of a simple majority to move forward on legislation, a position that effectively torpedoed the pro-LGBTQ Equality Act.

“Left-wing vitriol aimed at Sinema is a gusher on the internet,” Arizona Republic columnist Phil Boas noted before the election. “She is probably the most detested politician in the country today.”

Sinema is up for reelection in two years, which means that she could face a Democratic primary challenger.

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