Arizona Democrats Vote to Censure Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Senate Security and Governmental Affairs Committee member Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., adjusts her eyeglasses during a hearing on 2020 census on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By Robert Gundran

January 25, 2022

The Arizona Democratic Party voted Saturday to censure Sen. Kyrsten Sinema after she refused to change or eliminate the Senate filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.

Sinema has said she supported voting rights legislation but joined Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, as well as all Republicans, in opposing a one-time rule change to pass the bill with a simple majority. The filibuster effectively allows the party who isn’t in power to kill any legislation in the Senate. With 50 Democratic and 50 Republican senators, it makes passing any notable legislation borderline impossible.

The censuring of Simena is mostly symbolic. It acts as a way for Democrats in Arizona to publicly reprimand the senator for obstructing President Biden’s agenda. 

“Any reservoir of goodwill that she had is gone,” said US Rep. Ruben Gallego. Gallego could pose as a potential primary challenger for Simena’s seat in the Senate in 2024. He said several Democrats in the Senate have urged him to run against her, according to reports from CNN.

The state party tolerates disagreements, but safeguarding voter rights is too important, said Raquel Terán, a state senator who is the party chair. On that issue, Sinema has “fallen short,” she said.

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  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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