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Image: Kyrsten Sinema
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., departs a Senate vote at the U.S. Capitol, on May 9, 2022.Francis Chung / E&E News/Politico via AP file

Eyes on 2024: Democrats weigh Sinema's decision to leave party

Progressives and more moderate Democrats had different reactions to Sinema's move.

By and

Democrats both in Washington D.C. and Arizona spent the weekend processing Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s decision to leave the party and register as an independent.

Among progressives (and potential Sinema challengers from the left), the decision was blasted as proof she didn’t care about the party — outgoing Arizona Democratic Party vice-chairman Michael Slugocki said he’s “shockingly disappointed at how awful she continues to be.” And Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders said he doesn’t expect Democrats to stand behind someone “who helped sabotage some of the most important legislation that protects the interests of working families and voting rights.” 

But among those Democrats who don’t want to ostracize her ahead of next Senate term, or who may need to tout their own independence ahead of the 2024 election cycle, the response was far more muted.

The Biden White House’s statement called her a “key partner” that they expect to continue to work with. And on Sunday’s Meet the PressMontana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, who is up for re-election in 2024, downplayed her decision by saying: “I was surprised she made the change, but functionally, I don’t think it changes a thing.”

In other 2024 news:

A bright spot out West for Democrats: NBC News’ Natasha Korecki reports that while Republicans have made some inroads with Latino voters over the years, Democrats are performing well with Latinos in states like Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, where they’ve become a durable part of the party’s coalition 

Tar Heel tension: After another disappointment for Democrats in North Carolina, the state Democratic Party’s executive director is stepping aside (she says the decision was made before the election) and some Democrats are calling for big changes in the hopes of turning the tide in 2024, according to WRAL.  

A growing field in Indiana: Four Republicans could be running to succeed Indiana GOP Gov. Eric Holcolmb, who is term-limited, Politico reports. This comes as Indiana GOP Sen. Mike Braun and the state’s GOP Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch are both expected to announce their campaigns for the job today. Fort Wayne businessperson Eric Doden has already announced his campaign, and the state’s Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers is expected to jump into the race as well.