Politics

Arizona Democratic party votes to censure Sen. Sinema after she votes to preserve filibuster

On Saturday, the Arizona Democratic Party executive board voted to censure Senator Kyrsten Sinema, which, coming from her own party, could potentially complicate her future as a politician. The censure vote came as Sinema voted in favor of retaining the Senate’s filibuster rule.

“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,” said Arizona Democratic Party Chair Raquel Terán in a statement.

According to two sources who were in the meeting, the censure was passed by a unanimous vote. The vote took place just three days after the senator, who is in her first term, sided with republicans to block a rule change to the filibuster.

Many Democratic Party members are attempting to change the filibuster rules to help push through major voting rights legislation. The Senate was unable to pass a motion presented by Democrats to alter the rules and impose a “talking filibuster,” in a vote of 48-52.

Sinema was joined by Democratic Senator of West Virginia Joe Manchin in voting with Republicans. “The state party has no confidence in Sinema,” said Arizona Democratic Party vice chair Michael Slugocki. He added that “a lot of people have been frustrated for a long time and this filibuster vote was the final straw.” 

As for Sinema’s political future, it’s “unlikely, if not entirely impossible” that she will be endorsed for reelection in 2024 by the state party, according to Slugocki.

“A lot of Democrats worked their butts off to elect her in 2018,” he continued. “Activists across the state feel betrayed by her after they knocked on doors in 100-degree weather in Aug. 2018…only to see her go against everything we thought we were electing her to do.”

But a spokesperson for Sinema, Hannah Hurley, said in response to the censure vote, “Kyrsten has always promised Arizonans she would be an independent voice for the state – not for either political party. She’s delivered for Arizonans and has always been honest about where she stands.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NPR

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