Arizona Dems Formally Censure Krysten Sinema Over Failure to 'Ensure Health of Democracy'
© REUTERS / Elizabeth FrantzU.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) leaves a basement office meeting with other senators including Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Angus King (I-ME) (not pictured) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 15, 2021
© REUTERS / Elizabeth Frantz
US Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) was formally censured by Arizona’s Democratic Party on Saturday morning. The move is reportedly in response to Sinema’s refusal to change the filibuster rule to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act in the US Senate.
Raquel Teran, the chair of the Arizona Democratic Party and an Arizona state senator, said in a statement, "...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."
Teran added, "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.”
The decision to censure Sinema comes as the passage of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, a top priority for Democrats and US President Joe Biden, has stalled due to a refusal by Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to reform the filibuster and allow the bill's passage.
The Arizona Democratic Party was instrumental in Sinema’s narrow victory in the state’s senate race and lobbied her for months in an effort to change her stance on the filibuster so as to pass the landmark voting rights reform.
Arizona has become a ground zero in the partisan fight over voting rights. Following Donald Trump’s defeat in the state to Joe Biden in the 2020 US presidential election, Republicans at the state level began passing restrictive voting legislation.
The Arizona Democratic Party, in a statement to censure Sinema, made it clear that voting rights are of the utmost importance to their platform.
"This should not be a partisan issue -- the duty to protect our most fundamental right to vote is one that we all share," said Teran.
Democrats in Arizona are fundraising and organizing to support a challenger to Sinema in 2024. Sinema also recently lost the endorsement of Emily’s List, a key political organization that helps fund campaigns.
Sinema was only narrowly elected to the US Senate and now faces significant opposition from within her own party. She is up for reelection in 2024.