(Updated to include Sinema’s explanation for her support.)
Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema joined every Republican and three other Democrats* this afternoon to confirm David Bernhardt as the new Interior Secretary. The final vote was 56-41.
Interestingly, a dark money progressive group called the Western Values Project spent $200,000 on TV ads urging Arizona’s Republican Senator Martha McSally to vote against Bernhardt.
McSally issued a statement this afternoon celebrating the vote: “We have spoken on issues affecting our state and I know he will work with me to improve forest health, implement the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan, and be a good partner for Arizona in protecting our public lands for generations to come. I look forward to working with Secretary Bernhardt and showing him around Arizona.”
Sinema indicated that she, too, met with Bernhardt: “After meeting with Mr. Bernhardt and carefully considering his nomination, I am confident he is professionally qualified, believes in the mission of the Interior Department, and will faithfully uphold the law.”
Here is the (unsuccessful) Western Values Project Action ad.