▶️ US Sen. Kyrsten Sinema switches from Democrat to independent


WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona says she has switched her registration to independent. But the first-term senator also says she doesn’t plan to caucus with Republicans and that will ensure Democrats retain their narrow voting majority in the Senate.

Sinema has frustrated Democratic colleagues at times with her overtures to Republicans and opposition to party priorities, including a notable 2021 vote that prevented a boost to the federal minimum wage.

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She writes in a newspaper column that she’s “declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington.”

Democrats were set to hold a 51-49 edge in the Senate come January after the victory Tuesday by Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s runoff election.

There were already two independents in the Senate — Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine. But both tend to vote with Democrats, so they are generally included when talking about the Democratic majority.

Sinema’s move to indepenent means that the seat will likely be a three-way election when it’s up for grabs in 2024.

Central Oregon Daily News contributed to this report.


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