Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who has been less than coy about his intentions for months, will announce his bid for Senate on Monday, according to multiple outlets.
Gallego has made it a habit to publicize his frustration with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and her frequent bucking of the party, sparking online calls to “run, Ruben, run.”
“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!” he tweeted this week. “I haven’t made a decision on running, but I’m one step closer today,” he added, asking for donations.
Sinema has not officially announced that she’ll run for reelection, though she has filed paperwork to run as an independent in 2024.
Her party affiliation switch seemed to affect little in Senate Democrats’ day-to-day operations — she’s continuing to caucus with the party — but is something of a dare to national Democrats. Either they support her reelection effort, despite her immense unpopularity with her own party, or risk splitting the Democratic vote and throwing the purple seat to a Republican.
Sinema’s behavior has baffled constituents and pundits alike as she broke from the party on bread-and-butter issues including raising the federal minimum wage and initial proposals to raise the corporate tax rate. On some issues, she stands to the right of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), another gadfly to the Democrats, but one who hails from a deeply red state. Sinema’s is much less so, as evidenced by the more typical Democratic behavior of Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ).
Sinema and Manchin are united in their support of the Senate filibuster, which has blocked major Democratic priorities like protecting abortion access and passing voting rights legislation. The two high-fived over their love of the Senate procedure at Davos this week.
Gallego, a liberal, has been vocal in his opposition to the filibuster.