Days after Kyrsten Sinema gallivanted around the Davos World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alps with the world’s richest people, Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego officially announced his campaign to unseat the Arizona senator.
“If you’re more likely to be meeting with the powerful than the powerless, you’re doing this job incorrectly,” Gallego said in his announcement.
Gallego is a former Marine who served in the Lima Company, one of America’s hardest-hit units in the Iraq War. Elected to the Arizona state House in 2010, Gallego led the charge to grant in-state tuition status to veterans living in Arizona. He has served in the House of Representatives since 2014 and has been a chief advocate for veterans there as well.
In a 2024 race that has already generated much intrigue, Gallego will benefit from a groundswell of Democratic and even independent support against Sinema. Polls have shown massive Democratic preference for Gallego over Sinema; independent voters have expressed net favorability for Gallego at +31 points, while Sinema was net negative at -39.
Sinema’s recent decision to become an independent, however, complicates things slightly. One recent poll has found that a three-way race between Sinema, Gallego, and failing Arizona gubernatorial candidate and right-wing extremist Kari Lake could result in a slim Lake victory. The poll found Sinema garnering a meager 13 percent, with Gallego netting 40 percent and Lake edging by with 41 percent.
Of course, the poll is just one poll, and it’s only the dawn of 2023. Moreover, Sinema has not expressed her intentions for 2024, nor has Lake officially announced any plans. But there have been heavy rumors of her intention to run for Sinema’s seat, and she has urged her supporters to “mark your calendars” for January 29.
If Lake does run, the pressure is on Sinema to decide, first, whether she will run at all and then whether she will do so in the Democratic primary or mount a cynical, completely ego-driven campaign as an independent. Being a political independent is nothing to look down upon, but someone pretending to be an independent when their entire politics is driven by the interests of the rich and powerful is simply embarrassing.