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Kyrsten Sinema Formally Censured By AZ Dem Party Over Voting Rights, Increasing Chance of Primary Challenge

Kyrsten Sinema Formally Censured By AZ Dem Party Over Voting Rights, Increasing Chance of Primary Challenge

The Arizona Democratic Party’s Executive Committee formally censured Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Saturday morning as a result of her inaction on changing the filibuster rules to pass voting rights reform.

Sinema is facing renewed criticism from those who helped elect her after she and centrist Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia were the only two Democrats to vote against filibuster reform this week, effectively derailing passage of voting rights legislation. Arizona Democrats had organized heavily to elect Sinema to the Senate after she previously served in the U.S. House, which resulted in a narrow win. They lobbied Sinema for months to change her stance on the filibuster, but many were unable to get a meeting with the senator. “While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Executive Board has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy,” Arizona Democratic Party Chair Raquel Terán said in a statement after a meeting of the executive board Saturday morning. “On the matter of the filibuster and the urgency to protect voting rights, we have been crystal clear. In the choice between an archaic legislative norm and protecting Arizonans’ right to vote, we choose the latter, and we always will,” the statement read.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 30: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) catch and an elevator to go to the Senate Chamber to vote, after meeting in Sen. Manchins hideaway for half an hour, in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Arizona Democratic Party’s state committee members in September had approved a resolution outlining potential action the party would take against Sinema if she “does not vote in favor of Filibuster reform” to allow the passage of voting rights legislation. The resolution also allowed for the executive board to issue a formal letter of censure to Sinema with the “clear understanding that she could potentially lose the support of the ADP in 2024.”

 

With her refusal to change the filibuster rule and her insistence on siding with Republicans, Democrats in Arizona are fundraising to support Sinema’s primary challenger in 2024. Influential Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders said this week that he’d support a challenge to Sinema.

Sinema also lost a major endorsement this week from Emily’s List, a large political organization that bankrolls campaigns they endorse, including those who support abortion rights.

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