In a widely anticipated move, Rep. Gallego announces bid for Sinema’s Arizona Senate seat:
Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, a liberal firebrand and prominent Latino lawmaker, announced Monday he’ll challenge [the Prima Donna “Davos” Diva] independent U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2024, becoming the first candidate to jump into the race and setting up a potential three-way contest.
Gallego said he’d fight for normal people struggling to make ends meet and losing faith in politicians. He said he and Sinema both come from “modest to poor means” but have taken different paths in Congress.
“I’m better for this job than Kyrsten Sinema because I haven’t forgotten where I came from,” Gallego told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. “I think she clearly has forgotten where she came from. Instead of meeting with the people that need help, she meets with the people that are already powerful.”
Gallego, a 43-year-old military veteran first elected to Congress in 2014, had made no secret of his interest in challenging Sinema, a longtime rival in Arizona politics who has been a roadblock and irritant to Democrats during Joe Biden’s presidency. She left the Democratic Party in December, registering as an independentand saying she doesn’t “fit well into a traditional party system.” She has not said whether she plans to run for a second term.
Although no Republican has entered the race, potential contenders include former [MAGAt] gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, former U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb — all of whom are closely aligned with former [MAGAt] President Donald Trump. [MAGAt-Lite] Karrin Taylor Robson, a housing developer who lost to Lake in last year’s primary, and former Gov. Doug Ducey, [the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary fka the state of Arizona, for eight years] are also possible contenders.
Wait, isn’t the delusional Doug Ducey running for president in 2024? Donald Trump will remind his MAGAt cult every day that Ducey didn’t take his call and certified the “stolen” Arizona vote. He has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning a primary anywhere, including in his home state of Arizona.
A three-way race, coupled with the risk that Sinema and the eventual Democratic nominee will split the vote, would complicate the party’s already uphill battle to maintain control of the Senate in 2024. Democrats will be forced to defend 23 seats, including Sinema’s and two others held by independents, compared with just 10 seats for Republicans.
Actually, the vote splitting will occur among Republicans who support Sinema, and the MAGAt crazy base candidate. Arizona Democrats are almost universally opposed to the the Prima Donna “Davos” Diva Kyrsten Sinema. That’s why she became a party-of-one for her billionaire and lobbyist base. The “conventional wisdom” of the media is often wrong, and turns out to be just the opposite. You only need to look to the elections since 2016 to prove this point.
With tough and expensive races on the horizon, it remains unclear just how firmly the Democratic establishment and major donors will line up against Sinema, who has voted for most Democratic legislation even as she’s stood in the way of major priorities for the White House, congressional leaders and the progressive movement.
“I’m assuming that they will be with us because we are going to run the winning campaign and because at end of the day, if you look at where Arizonans are going to be, they’re going to be with us and not with her,” Gallego told the AP.
A spokeswoman for Sinema, Hannah Hurley, did not immediately comment on Gallego’s announcement. [The “Silent Sinema” act of being the Greta Garbo of the Senate.]
Gallego, an acerbic presence on social media who is quick to take down rivals from both parties, floated the idea of challenging Sinema to raise money last year and has for weeks been publicly assembling a team of advisers, hiring Democratic campaign veterans with experience working on tough swing-state Senate races in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
He announced his campaign with an online video that shows him talking to veterans at an American Legion post in Guadalupe, a Latino and indigenous community just outside Phoenix.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) has formally announced his bid for the Democratic nomination for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat in Arizona.
Sinema became an independent in December 2022. pic.twitter.com/hLcU0aAm9l
— The Recount (@therecount) January 23, 2023
The son of immigrants from Mexico and Colombia, Gallego was raised in Chicago by a single mother, after his father was imprisoned for dealing drugs. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Reserves while he was on an involuntary break from Harvard University. He wrote in a 2021 book, “They Called Us Lucky,” that he was asked to leave Harvard during his sophomore year, when he partied too much, his grades slipped and he broke unspecified rules. He was later allowed to return.
He fought in Iraq in 2005 in a unit that sustained heavy casualties, and he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning. He moved to Arizona to join his Harvard girlfriend, who had become active in Democratic politics in the state. The couple married in 2010 and divorced in 2017, a month before their son was born. His ex-wife, Kate Gallego, is now the mayor of Phoenix.
Gallego was elected in 2010 to the state Legislature, where Sinema also served for one of his two terms. In 2014, he won a bitter congressional primary, toppling a dynastic figure in the Phoenix Latino community. He represents an overwhelmingly Democratic district that includes the Black and Latino neighborhoods of south and west Phoenix.
In Congress, he has focused on veterans and military issues.
Sinema has modeled her political approach on the maverick style of the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who alienated the grassroots of his party by sometimes crossing the aisle to work with Democrats. She’s become a fierce advocate of bipartisan compromise [her shtick] in an era when extreme partisanship has made it much more difficult.
She has been at the center of many of the biggest congressional deals of Biden’s presidency, from a big, bipartisan infrastructure package to a landmark bill to legally protect same-sex marriages. But she’s also become estranged from many Democrats, who blame her for voting down progressive priorities like a minimum wage hike and watering down others, like Biden’s big social spending initiatives.
Her support for maintaining the filibuster, a Senate rule requiring 60 of 100 votes to pass most legislation, has made her a pariah on the left.
You can begin donating to the Ruben Gallego for Senate campaign beginning today via Act Blue, or at the Ruben Gallego for Arizona website, where you can also volunteer to work for this campaign.
UPDATE: Follow-up messages sent to Gallego supporters following his announcement:
I wanted you to hear it directly from me: I’m going to be challenging Kyrsten Sinema and running for the United States Senate in Arizona.
If that’s all you need to hear, I am asking you to become a Day One, Founding Donor to our historic campaign. The amount of the donation is not nearly as important as the number of people contributing today. Use this link to split a donation between my campaign and The Majority Rules:
Here is the truth:
The rich and the powerful don’t need more advocates in the Senate. It’s the people deciding between groceries and utilities who need help.
For too long, Senator Sinema has used her position of power to help those who already have it all. She has stood in the way of raising the minimum wage, protecting voting rights, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and more.
Now, we can argue about different ways to do the job as a United States Senator, but at the core of it all, if you are more likely to be meeting and helping the powerful than the powerless, you are doing this job wrong.
I am sorry that politicians like Senator Sinema have let you down.
I am going to change that.
But in order to win this race against Senator Sinema and whoever the Republicans nominate, it’s going to take a historic grassroots effort. From day one.
I also received text messages for donations (shows up as “slideshow” notification on my phone – change the tag to Ruben Gallego for Arizona, please!)
Growing up poor, all I had was the American dream. It kept me going: as a kid sleeping on the floor, a student scrubbing toilets, a Marine losing brothers in Iraq.
Today, too many Arizonans see their dream slipping away. I’m running for the U.S. Senate to win it back for you! pic.twitter.com/ofUvUYRcTP
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) January 23, 2023
Interview with MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell:
Interview on MSNBC’s The Readout with Joy Reid:
On Monday, Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Phoenix launched his own bid for Sinema’s seat, setting up what could become the most fascinating and dramatic Senate brawl of 2024.
The following day, his team announced that it had already raised over $1 million from more than 27,000 donations, surpassing in eight hours the Arizona record for the most individual donations in a campaign’s first day.
“Why Kyrsten Sinema is in deep trouble”, https://news.yahoo.com/why-kyrsten-sinema-is-in-deep-trouble-190030007.html
A December Public Policy Poll showed that Senator Sinema is broadly unpopular and trails Rep. Ruben Gallego significantly in a three-way race. The poll shows Gallego at 40% and Republican Kari Lake at 41%, with Sinema in a distant third at 13%. See, https://mailchi.mp/802647d37bde/new-poll-ruben-gallego-strongest-candidate-for-2024-az-senate-race
“Rep. Reuben Gallego Hires John Fetterman And Raphael Warnock Staffers In AZ Senate Bid Against Kyrsten Sinema”, https://www.politicususa.com/2023/01/23/rep-reuben-gallego-hires-john-fetterman-and-raphael-warnock-staffers-in-az-senate-bid-against-kyrsten-sinema.html
Rep. Reuben Gallego (D-AZ) made it official. He is running against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2024, and he has hired staffers from the John Fetterman and Raphael Warnock [successful] campaigns.
The New York Times reported on some very interesting early hires for the Gallego campaign, “Democrats in Arizona previously made motions that they intended to rally behind Ms. Sinema’s Democratic challenger. Mr. Gallego’s campaign team includes veterans from Senator Mark Kelly’s re-election bid in Arizona, as well as Democratic consultants who served on the successful 2022 Senate campaigns for Raphael Warnock in Georgia and John Fetterman in Pennsylvania. Mr. Gallego’s campaign also has taken on Chuck Rocha, a longtime Democratic strategist focused on mobilizing Latino voters.”
The lowest Senate incumbent reelection rate in any given election year over the last two decades is 79%. Beating a Senate incumbent is difficult, which is why campaigns that are serious about winning need quality staff who have won Senate races before.
Rep. Gallego has hired people from Mark Kelly’s campaign, Raphael Warnock’s campaign, and John Fetterman’s campaign. All three of those campaigns were Democratic success stories in purple states.
Sen. Sinema left the Democratic Party because she was facing a primary from Gallego that she could not win.
Sinema has yet to announce her intentions for 2024, but she may find herself to be a candidate without a constituency. Democrats have already rallied around Gallego, and Kari Lake is rumbling from her Mar-a-Lago hideout that she may run for the Republican Senate nomination.
It looks like Rep. Gallego is building a potentially winning team that should be taken seriously no matter what Sen. Sinema decides to do.
“The lowest Senate incumbent reelection rate in any given election year over the last two decades is 79%.”
This is true. But most incumbents don’t pull a bait and switch on their supporters or take “donations” in broad daylight to vote against their best interests. And they usually don’t blow up their own party’s agenda that a majority of voters approved. And I do believe she’s the first to take a trip to Switzerland to hobnob with billionaires and brag about her “independence” while wearing a furry vest that made her look like a sheep. (Maybe at her next big event she’ll go as a border collie.)
At this point in her political career, she’s so focused on herself and her “fundraising” there is absolutely nothing else to say about her.
But yes, it is wise for the Democrats to get an early start with Reuben Gallego and build a strong campaign team. And I suspect those volunteers who knocked on 2.5 million doors for Kyrsten Sinema in 2018 will be ready to help. It’s good to know that the Democrats are going to fight to keep this seat in the Senate.
Kyrsten couldn’t get elected to catch dogs, not even locally let alone statewide. But she certainly has enough support to affect the outcome of the election should she run as a spoiler.
The threat will be the Republican candidate, no matter who it is, unfortunately.
Independent registered voters are about a third of all registered voters. An Arizona court ruling allowed a terrible law requiring any independent candidate to file far more signatures on nominating petitions than the two mainstream parties. (Read the case, its “Alito Logic” a metaphor that should now mean, an illogical, fantasy based rationale, trying to support a pre-determined outcome.) Its possible Sinema won’t run or can’t get the thousands of signatures more required to get on the ballot than the two main party candidates. However in a three way race of this nature, it will be very difficult for the Democrat to win. The odds are far against winning. This is from a person who was willing to donate to Gallego in a primary with The Diva. She knew she could not win a straight Democratic primary.
Video commemorating Sinema’s Switzerland trip. I’m just hoping that a real animal didn’t have to die for her furry vest. It looks like it might be a recycled shag rug but you never know.
Sinema? In Switzerland? Hanging with billionaires instead of doing her job? Noooo way.
12:19 PM · Jan 20, 2023 ·71.6K Views
Who wore it best? I vote for the sheep.