Senate

Carville says he’d help fundraise for potential Gallego Senate bid

Democratic strategist James Carville said on Thursday that he would support Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) if he launched a Senate bid, saying he did not believe Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) would win a primary against the congressman.

“She’s not going to win a primary against Rep. Ruben Gallego, I’ll tell you that damn much,” Carville told Vox’s Sean Illing in an interview published on Thursday. “And I will personally volunteer to help him fundraise because I think we can keep that seat if he runs.”

However, he said that he would back Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) if he launched a 2024 Senate reelection bid, noting that there would be political consequences for Democrats if Manchin ran again and did not win.

“Understand that Joe Manchin is a Roman Catholic Democrat in a state in which not a single county has voted Democrat [for president] since 2008. I repeat: not a single county has voted Democrat since 2008,” Carville told Illing.

“Politics is about choices, and he’s up for reelection in 2024. If Manchin runs for reelection, I’ll do everything I can to help him because it’s either going to be Joe Manchin or Marsha Blackburn. It ain’t Joe Manchin or Ed Markey. You got to understand that. It’s really that damn simple,” Carville added.

The West Virginia senator said in November that he had “no idea” if he would be running again in 2024, saying he would make a decision after the 2022 midterms.

Carville’s comments echo recent indications from Democratic lawmakers — including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — that they would be open to supporting primary challenges against their moderate colleagues.

Both Sinema and Manchin voted earlier this month against changing filibuster rules to pass voting rights legislation, a move that required the unity of all 50 Democratic senators and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Harris to succeed.

The 60-vote filibuster rule has been seen as a major roadblock for Democrats trying to pass their priorities. The vote was expected to fail, however, given that both Sinema and Manchin have reiterated their support for the filibuster.

Following Sinema’s vote against the rule change, the Arizona Democratic Party’s executive board censured her.

“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. She’s delivered for Arizonans and has always been honest about where she stands,” a Sinema spokesperson told The Hill in a statement upon the news that she had been censured. 

The Hill has reached out to the offices of Gallego, Manchin and Sinema for comment.

Tags 2024 elections Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Bernie Sanders Ed Markey James Carville Joe Manchin Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Kyrsten Sinema Marsha Blackburn mKyrsten Sinema primary challenges Ruben Gallego Ruben Gallego

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