Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona vows never to join the Republican party | American news

US Senator Kyrsten Sinema has vowed never to join the Republican party after switching her party affiliation from Democrat to Independent late last year.

In an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, the Arizona senator said she is “absolutely” done with the country’s two-party system.

The show’s host, Margaret Brennan, asked, “Now that you’re an Independent, are you ever going to be a Republican?”

“No,” said Sinema, who has been accused of being a Republican after past legislative actions hostile to the Democrats’ agenda. She added, “You don’t go from one broken party to another.”

Sinema elaborated by saying, “Arizona is one of the states with the highest level of independents in the country. We are a state of people who don’t often march to the drum we are taught, right. So most of us don’t fit neatly into one box or another. And I think the challenge we have now in our political discourse is to make it okay for people to think for themselves.

Reports emerged last month that Sinema was preparing to run for re-election in 2024 as an independent after winning office as a Democratic candidate in 2018.

Those reports came after Sinema changed her party affiliation from Democrat to independent in December. She announced the change almost immediately after the Democrats and independents who consulted with them secured a 51-to-49 majority in the Senate.

“I have joined the growing number of Arizona residents who reject partisan politics by declaring my independence from Washington’s fractured partisan system,” Sinema said in a statement at the time.

Despite reports about her re-election plans, Sinema herself remains tight-lipped about that.

“It sounds like you want a second… term,” Brennan told Sinema in the interview that aired Sunday. Sinema replied, “I’m not here today to talk about elections.”

Brennan countered, “Why keep people guessing?”

Sinema said: “I want to stay focused on the work I do. I hope the people here today can share how important it is for me to actually make progress, solve challenges and get results.

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“That’s why I get up every day and go to work. I don’t get up and go to work every day for people to say, you know, is she walking again or not? That’s just not my concern.”

During her first term as a senator, Sinema often withheld her support for several Joe Biden White House legislative initiatives, including protecting the right to vote. That angered progressives, many of her colleagues and supporters of the Democratic president.

Sinema has nevertheless maintained that she has a working relationship with the White House — particularly on immigration reform legislation — despite her changed party membership.

“I have spoken to the White House several times this week. I am confident that if we succeed in getting a workable plan that has the support of more than 60 senators in the United States Senate, I am confident that President Biden will support it. I have confidence in it,” says Sinema.

Sinema’s pursuit of another Senate term as an independent could mean a competitive three-way race for her Arizona seat. U.S. Democratic House Representative Ruben Gallego, 43, has declared her candidacy, and unsuccessful 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, 53, has said she is looking into a run.

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