Arizona Democrats Censure Sinema Following Blow To Voting Rights Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) walks to her office in the basement of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 19, 2022 in Washington, DC. Later tonight, the Senate will hold votes on voting righ... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) walks to her office in the basement of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 19, 2022 in Washington, DC. Later tonight, the Senate will hold votes on voting rights legislation and Senate rules to amend the filibuster. The measures are expected to fail due to Republican opposition and not enough Democratic support for filibuster reform. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) MORE LESS

It’s official: The Arizona Democratic Party has had enough of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-AZ) bold mavericking.

The party voted on Saturday to formally censure Sinema, following her refusal to support a filibuster carveout that would allow voting rights legislation to move through the Senate.

Raquel Teran, the state party’s chair, said that although it “appreciates” Sinema’s involvement in the passage of COVID-19 relief and the bipartisan infrastructure bill in 2021, it disapproves of the senator’s loyalty to the filibuster that ultimately torpedoed Democrats’ year-long push for voting rights legislation.

“However, we are also here to advocate for our constituents and the ramifications of failing to pass federal legislation that protects their right to vote are too large and far-reaching,” Teran said in a statement on Saturday following the state party’s vote.

“While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Executive Board has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy,” Teran added.

The vote comes after both Sens. Sinema and Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined Republicans in voting last week against changing Senate rules such that voting rights legislation would be able to pass without bipartisan support.

Fury from Democrats towards Sinema reached a crescendo with her refusal to back a filibuster carveout for voting rights.

Last week, Teran issued a pointed statement that took aim at Sinema for having “fallen short” on voting rights, while highlighting the contrast between Sinema with her fellow Arizona senator, Mark Kelly (D-AZ), who “courageously voted to defend the voting rights of millions of Arizonans.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) also told CNN last week that several unnamed senators privately reached out to him in recent days to urge a primary challenge against Sinema.

“To be honest, I have gotten a lot of encouragement from elected officials, from senators, from unions, from your traditional Democratic groups, big donors,” Gallego told CNN. “Everything you can imagine under the sun.”

Gallego also clarified that among the senators who reached out to him, none of them was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who previously stated his support for a primary challenger against Sinema.

Political action committees such as EMILY’s List and NARAL cut off their financial support for Sinema after she continued to stand by the filibuster even for voting rights legislation that she said she supports.

Sinema is up for re-election in 2024.

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