Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) announced Monday he is running for Senate against incumbent Kyrsten Sinema, who not all that long ago announced she was changing her party registration from an affiliation with the Democratic Party to claiming an independent status.
Her decision to make that change means Gallego and Sinema won’t be facing each other in a Democratic primary, and — depending on how that primary unfolds sans Sinema — a high-profile part of the general election match-up in 2024 could be set, assuming the incumbent herself also runs for re-election. Sinema continues facing criticism for policy decisions like her allegiance to the filibuster rules in the Senate, which helped sink, at least for the next roughly two years, Democratic ambitions to pass new protections at the federal level for voting rights and abortion. In a video stretching just over three minutes in which Gallego announced his campaign, the Democratic Congressman spoke of his personal background, including his family’s financial struggles and his time in the military, and outlined his belief — which isn’t actually a given among political figures! — that service as an elected official should prioritize the everyday Americans otherwise left behind.
Do the officials interested in protecting corporate interests, whether that’s in tax policy, environmental protection, or a similar field really believe — in a substantively meaningful sense — something similar? Also potentially joining this race — eventually — is Republican Kari Lake, who lost in this year’s race for Arizona governor and has been included in some Senate polling as a potential contender, although she hasn’t announced a campaign. Lake, who is closely aligned with Trump, is continuing to fight in court against her defeat in connection to claims of local officials mishandling the race, and she’s said she’s more focused on that push than a potential Senate run. “Kari is hyper-focused on winning her court case as she is the duly-elected Governor & her Election Case proves that,” a Lake team statement said, so she’s still off in fantasyland.
Elsewhere, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) also recently announced a high-profile bid for Senate in California. Some of the polling that’s been done has shown Gallego and Lake ending up close — and Sinema way, way behind in a race between the three candidates. She’s not popular. Watch Gallego’s campaign announcement below:
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