Democrat Ruben Gallego launches run for Senate in Arizona as Kyrsten Sinema stays silent

WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego announced Monday he will run for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat currently held by centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who left the Democratic

Party in December to become an independent. “As a Marine, I never back down from a fight and in the Senate, I’ll fight to make sure every Arizonan has the same chance that I

had at the American Dream,” Gallego said in a statement. Gallego launched his campaign with videos in English and Spanish, highlighting his humble beginnings as the son of

an immigrant mom. If elected he would become the first Latino senator in what has become one of the most competitive states in the country. A Sinema aide declined to comment

on Gallego’s announcement. Gallego is the first major candidate to jump into the race. His long-expected campaign comes as Sinema’s intentions remain a mystery; the

first-term senator has not said whether she will run for re-election as an independent in 2024. “A never-ending focus on campaign politics is why so many people hate

politics,” Sinema told local radio station KTAR on Friday. If she runs, it could become a three-way race in the general election, with Republicans sure to field a nominee.

Some Democrats fear that could play into the GOP’s hands. In his statement Monday, Gallego said: “The problem isn’t that Senator Sinema abandoned the Democratic Party — it’s

that she’s abandoned Arizona. She’s repeatedly broken her promises and fought for the interests of big pharma and Wall Street at our expense. I’m running for the U.S. Senate

because the rich and the powerful don’t need any more advocates in Washington — but families who can’t afford groceries do.”