Mum’s the word from the senators in charge of electing Democrats to the upper chamber as they contemplate whether to support Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat-turned-independent, or Democratic challenger Rep. Ruben Gallego.
“We have to wait and see what happens,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Chair Gary Peters of Michigan.
One of his deputies, Vice Chair Tina Smith of Minnesota, said she “does not know who is running,” referencing Ms. Sinema’s silence on whether she’ll seek reelection.
“It’s premature,” Ms. Smith repeated about a half dozen times to reporters as she boarded an elevator in the U.S. Capitol.
The Arizona Senate seat is slated to be one of the most vulnerable on Democrats’ tough 2024 election map, presenting a paradox for the party when it comes to backing Ms. Sinema, who still caucuses with Democrats, or a challenger who is one of their own.
Ms. Sinema’s long-held moderate positions and support of the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate has made her a prime target among progressives for years. She’s argued that Americans are fed up with partisan politics, which fueled her change in party affiliation.
“You’re the first group of people that are hearing this besides my family,” Mr. Gallego, who served as a Marine in Iraq, told veterans featured in the ad. “I will be challenging Kyrsten Sinema for the United States Senate, and I need all of your support.”