Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego is going after Senator Kyrsten Sinema for being “nowhere to be found” leading up to the midterm elections.
“You did not see [Sinema] at one public event for anybody,” Gallego said Sunday on MSNBC. “And when we have 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.”
On November 9, the day after the election, Sinema tweeted: “Every vote counted, every voice heard. That’s how our democracy works. It may take some time for the results to be finalized, so in the meantime, let’s stay patient. Democracy is always worth the wait.”
Gallego responded, writing, “Thanks for all your help this year. 🙃”
This is not the first time Gallego has gone after Sinema. In January, he tweeted that Sinema and Manchin “care more about arcane Senate rules than protecting your vote,” referring to the pair’s opposition to eliminating the filibuster.
In April, Gallego predicted Sinema would not spend much time stumping for Arizona Democrats. “She doesn’t care about the Democratic movement. She doesn’t care about working-class people,” he said. “She’s not going to be out there with Mark [Kelly]. She’s not going to be out there with our gubernatorial nominee. It’s not her nature.”
Then in July, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Gallego tweeted at Sinema, asking her to have a town hall and explain her opposition to forgoing the filibuster in order to codify the right to abortion. Later that month, Gallego’s campaign fundraised on Facebook, teasing a potential primary challenge against Sinema in 2024.
“Many people are asking Ruben if he will run against Senator Kyrsten Sinema,” the post read. “We know many of you hope he does and he appreciates that fact. That’s one of the reasons he is asking you to contribute to his campaign today. Because if he is going to run against her, he’ll need to win his re-election campaign this November and build a strong grassroots movement.”
“Anything he doesn’t spend in 2022, he can use in 2024 … whatever he decides,” the post finished.
In September, less than two months before Election Day, Gallego alleged that Sinema “would prefer the Dems lose control of the Senate and House.” This, in response to Sinema predicting that, since government control periodically switches, it’s “likely to change again in just a few weeks.”
Five days before the election, former President Barack Obama visited Phoenix to rally support for the state’s Democrats. Sinema was notably absent—not even to show support for Katie Hobbs, whose first foray in politics was volunteering for one of Sinema’s state legislative races.
If not for the effort of Gallego and other Democratic groups, Sinema’s passivity was almost self-fulfilling. Nearly one week after Election Day, two Arizona House races—split by just hundreds of votes—and the extremely consequential gubernatorial race featuring Kari Lake are all yet to be called.