Sinema to stay put in current seat

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) will run for reelection to her current seat, ending speculation over whether she’d switch to a much easier race in a neighboring, open district.

Her Thursday announcement gives Democrats reason to breathe a sigh of relief. If she had switched to run in the neighboring 7th District, the party would've been left without a strong contender for the seat.

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“I am flattered that some of my old neighbors and friends asked me to consider running for Congress in District 7. But I love my job representing the people of the 9th district and there is so much more to be done on behalf of the middle class. I am proud of the work I have accomplished but I have only just begun to change the way Congress does business,” Sinema said in a Facebook post.

Sinema had been considering a switch after Rep. Ed Pastor's (D) retirement announcement opened up a safe Democratic seat in the 7th District.

But she was the party’s best shot for holding her current seat in the more difficult 9th District, a swing district that narrowly voted for President Obama in 2012, where she’s facing two Republican challengers. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee aired a radio ad and launched a robocall in the district attacking Sinema for her work on ObamaCare in an effort to nudge her out of that race.

“That fact that Congresswoman Sinema even considered abandoning her constituents for a safer district proves that she knows she’s completely out of touch with the people she claims to represent. Sinema will be forced to spend the next eight months explaining why President Obama hand-picked her to help craft and sell ObamaCare," NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman said.

Had she switched races, Democrats would likely have been left without a strong contender for a race that's crucial as they work to pick up the 17 seats they need to win a House majority in November.