Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
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Arizona Democrats and former staffers vented to Vice about Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
Sinema has thrown a wrench into several key components of President Biden’s agenda.
“I’m livid. I can only call her a turncoat,” a former county Democratic Party chair said.
Less than four years after flipping one of Arizona’s Senate seats for the Democrats, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has left bad blood among those in her home state who helped her get elected, according to a Vice News report.
Seven of Sinema’s former staffers also spoke with Insider last summer about a “demoralizing” office environment where they were afraid to “mess up in any way.”
“I’m livid,” Maria-Elena Dunn, a chapter leader in Prescott, Ariz. for Indivisible, a progressive activist group, told Vice reporter Cameron Joseph. “I can only call her a turncoat. I feel betrayed.”
Describing Sinema’s vote against a filibuster exemption for the “Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act” as her “last straw,” Dunn also recalled being initially quite impressed with Sinema when first campaigning for her.
“We did everything we possibly could to get her elected,” Dunn said. “We were very excited about her. We knew she was a Democrat who had centrist tendencies, and that wasn’t a bad thing. Here in Arizona and especially our area you have to be realistic over who you could elect. We were thrilled. She seemed like the real thing.”
Former staffers for Sinema on Capitol Hill expressed regret over having worked for her.
“People need to know she sucks,” one former staffer told Vice.
Another former Sinema employee said the boss had a tendency to be “really rough on people” and “likes to have somebody she’s pissed off at” within the office.
The former staffer who said Sinema “sucks” added that they “cannot wait to donate to her primary challenger.”
“There is a running joke that Sinema staffers text each other: ‘that line on the resume gets worse and worse by the day,'” the same former Senate aide said.
Sinema’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
“During three terms in the U.S. House, and now in the Senate, Kyrsten has always promised Arizonans she would be an independent voice for the state—not for either political party,” Sinema spokeswoman Hannah Hurley told Vice. “She’s delivered for Arizonans and has always been honest about where she stands, and has said that different people of good faith can have honest disagreements about policy and strategy, and that honest disagreements are normal.”
As Insider’s Kayla Epstein reported this week, alumni of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns are working on mounting a primary challenge against her. Rep. Ruben Gallego, a fellow Arizona Democrat with policy stances to Sinema’s left, is emerging as the favorite.
Politics, 2022 midterms, Kyrsten Sinema, Ruben Gallego, Arizona, Voting Rights, Fillibuster
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