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Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Backs Out of Reelection Bid amid Daunting Poll Numbers

"I believe in my approach," the independent senator said in a video on Tuesday. "But it's not what America wants right now"

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Kyrsten Sinema will not run for reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2024, she announced on Tuesday.

"I believe in my approach, but it's not what American wants right now," the independent senator said in a video posted to X, which argued that modern U.S. politics is focused more in partisanship than progress. "I love Arizona and I am so proud of what we've delivered. Because I choose civility, understanding, listening, working together to get stuff done, I will leave Senate at the end of the year."

Prior to backing out of the race, polls suggested that Sinema would have a tough road to reelection as a third-party candidate.

Related: Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Leaves Democratic Party to Become Independent: 'Right for the Country'

Sinema left the Democratic party in December 2022, writing in an op-ed for The Arizona Republic, "There's a disconnect between what everyday Americans want and deserve from our politics, and what political parties are offering."

At the time, Sinema said she planned to keep the committee assignments Senate Democrats had given her, saying that her new affiliation is intended to reflect how she's "never really fit into a box of any political party," according to Politico.

"Nothing will change about my values or my behavior," the senior Arizona senator, 47, told the outlet at the time.

Related: Progressive Independent Bernie Sanders Attributes Kyrsten Sinema's Party Switch to 'Political Aspirations'

Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks with reporters in Washington
Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks with reporters in Washington

Sinema positioned herself as one of Congress' biggest disruptors after being elected in 2018, but since switching parties, her future in the Senate has looked especially uncertain.

In early February, the New York Times reported that Sinema had raised just $600,000 in the final quarter of 2023 and was lagging behind a plan to hire campaign staff and conduct internal polling.

The Times further reported that, as of the beginning of the year, Sinema and her team had not begun collecting the signatures required to put her name on the ballot. Those signatures are required by April.

Related: Popular Democratic Congressman Launches Bid to Unseat Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2024

<p>Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty; Roy Rochlin/Getty; Win McNamee/Getty</p> Democrat Ruben Gallego (left) and Republican Kari Lake (center) are likely to face off in November for the Senate seat occupied by Kyrsten Sinema (right)

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty; Roy Rochlin/Getty; Win McNamee/Getty

Democrat Ruben Gallego (left) and Republican Kari Lake (center) are likely to face off in November for the Senate seat occupied by Kyrsten Sinema (right)

The news comes months after Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego officially announced he'd run for Sinema's Senate seat, saying in a tweet he wanted to "win it back."

Gallego currently serves the U.S. representative for Arizona's 3rd congressional district, which includes parts of Phoenix and Glendale and at the time of his announcement was, according to one poll, "considerably more popular than Sinema and would be a top tier Senate candidate regardless of what she decides to do in 2024."

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Kari Lake, a former television-anchor-turned-right-wing-politician who narrowly lost the race for Arizona governor in 2022, is also running for the seat, and appears most likely to earn the Republican nomination and face off with Gallego in November.

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