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Stabenow sidesteps whether Democrats should support Sinema reelection bid

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Greg Nash
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) addresses reporters following the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, December 13, 2022.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on Sunday sidestepped a question on whether Democrats should support a reelection bid from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), who announced last month that she was leaving the Democratic Party to register as an Independent.

“We’ll see going down the road how all of this plays out. I think it’s very, very early,” Stabenow told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Some Democrats and progressives were outraged over Sinema’s unexpected party switch, which came just weeks after Democrats were able to hold on to their upper chamber majority in the midterm elections — and weeks before the next Congress convened.

Sinema, who had blocked some of President Biden’s priorities from making its way through the 50-50 Senate during the last session, has said her switch to Independent is “true to who I am and how I operate,” not conforming to either major party.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), who caucuses with the Democrats, slammed Sinema after her announcement, calling her a “corporate Democrat” whose affiliation change “sabotaged” her former party’s priorities.

Democrats and Republicans have now turned their attention to Sinema’s Senate seat, which will be up for grabs in 2024. She has not announced whether she will seek reelection.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), an outspoken critic of Sinema, had been considered as a top challenger against her in the state’s Democratic primary. 

Tags Chuck Todd Debbie Stabenow Debbie Stabenow democrats Independents Joe Biden kyrsten sinema Ruben Gallego

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