AZ-Sen: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) is Officially Running

As expected, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) is running for the US Senate seat of Sen. Jeff Flake (R). Sinema has a very interesting history. A former Green party activist and self-styled “Prada Socialist”, Sinema won a seat in the legislature and the 2012 primary for AZ-9 as a staunch liberal. However, since entering Congress, she has moved strongly to the right and has compiled a moderate voting record in Congress. Her successful re-invention speaks quite highly to her political skills (if it raises questions about her candor). As such, it was always seen as a question of when, not if, she would mount a statewide run. That she would choose this race is no surprise; Flake is extremely vulnerable as he has managed to alienate primary voters with his social moderation without garnering the kind of crossover support his senior colleague, John McCain (R), has. Flake has thus trailed polls of the primary to little-known Republicans, and is trailing Sinema in general election polling as well. As such Democrats’ securing of an “A” list recruit assures that the general election will be hotly-contested.

Sinema’s decision opens up AZ-9, a heavily Mathismandered D+4 seat designed to vacuum up just about every available white Democrat in the Phoenix area. The seat is a backwards “C” stretching from upscale areas of central Phoenix to downtown Scottsdale, through the college town of Tempe and the lower-middle-class western part of Mesa, and finishing in middle-class areas south of South Mountain. The seat is trending left and very likely, though perhaps not quite certain, to stay in Dem hands. Dems look likely to get a top recruit for this seat in Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D), who was considering a run for Senate but is thought ready to defer to Sinema and run for this seat. If he runs, Stanton is likely to be a strong favorite in the primary and general. Beyond him, Tempe councilman and ex-State Sen. David Schapira (D), who is currently running for Superintendent, could potentially switch here. State Sens. Sean Bowie (D), Katie Hobbs (D) and John Mendez (D) live in the seat, along with five Dem State Reps. Republicans have a quite thin bench here. There is just one legislator in the seat, State Rep. Jill Norgaard (R). County Commissioner Bill Gates (R) may also live in the district. Tech executive and 2014 Gov candidate/2016 AZ-5 candidate Christine Jones (R) could be a possibility as well, as could ex-Tempe Mayor and 2014 Treasurer candidate Hugh Hallman (R). From the prior candidate file, there is ex-Rep. Ben Quayle (R), who represented part of this seat in his one term from 2010-12, 2012 nominee Vernon Parker (R), and 2014 nominee Wendy Rogers (R).

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  • aggou September 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Who would be our strongest potential for her house seat?

    • shamlet September 28, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Probably Christine Jones, but I think she’d be a long shot to run.

      R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

      • aas34 September 29, 2017 at 7:28 am

        Actually it’s former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman. I’m doubtful he runs though.

        32, R, CA-2

        • shamlet September 29, 2017 at 9:48 am

          Forgot about him – I added him to the GM.

          R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

  • The Zenome Project September 28, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    In essence, this Sinema lady wants to be a radical leftist like Mad Maxine but doesn’t have the guts to do so. I don’t think that she’ll do so well against whoever primaries Flake (because I’m a staunch Paulist, I hope it’s Ward that does do), mainly because I think that conviction politics is the new way to win.

    • jncca September 29, 2017 at 12:08 am

      But Trump’s convictions are….nothing, really. If our president doesn’t follow conviction politics, how is it the way to win?

      24, CA-6. Part Obama, Part May, Part Christian Democrat.

  • The Zenome Project September 28, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Quick question, BTW: what do you mean by “Mathismandered”?

    • krazen1211 September 28, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      Arizona redistricting is drawn by an ‘independent’ commission. The commission consists of 2 Ds, 2 Rs, and a so called Independent who this decade happened to be this woman named Colleen Mathis.

      Basically Mathis and the 2 Ds drew massive Democratic gerrymanders which gave Democrats 5 Congressional seats in 2012 (including the AZ-09 hangman that snakes through various cities), and also underpopulated Democratic legislative districts while overpopulating Republican legislative districts.

      There was a whole legal thing where AZ GOP tried to boot her, and also a case that went to the Supreme Court.

      • The Zenome Project September 28, 2017 at 10:22 pm

        IOW, “non-partisan gerrymandering” = Leftists get the power even when the voters reject them at the state level. How fair. How balanced.

      • Greyhound September 28, 2017 at 10:37 pm

        That’s underselling it. Wasn’t she married to the head of the AZ Democrat party or something?

        Regardless, she drew literally the optimal D gerrymander of the state at all levels, passed the maps 3-2 over GOP opposition, and then proceeded to accuse the AZGOP of wanting to gerrymandering the state when they complained.

        R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

        • The Zenome Project September 28, 2017 at 10:52 pm

          I hate this type of gerrymander far more than, say, Maryland’s or Illinois’. At least in those cases Democrats have a fair and square majority in both legislative chambers, and again, if Democrats want to win more state legislatures than they have right now, it would be far more productive to take a good look at themselves and their agenda, reinvent it and localize it so that it is actually appealing to rural voters, and drop the racism and the identity politics. BTW, Republicans would do much better in blue states like Maryland if they did some localization, as well. For example, jumping on the legal marijuana train and dumping divisive social wedges.

  • andrew_1918 September 28, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    We need Jeff DeWit to run for the AZ Senate.
    Flake or Ward=blue AZ

    • The Zenome Project September 28, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      I’d rather have Flake than DeWit, mainly because I don’t trust DeWit to be as fiscally libertarian as Flake is and he’s probably going to be about as hawkish on foreign policy. I want voters to elect more senators that have the courage and backbone to vote against insane, meddling sanctions like the ones placed on Russia a few months ago.

      • GerGOP September 29, 2017 at 6:25 am

        Flake is dead as a dodo, though.

  • HS September 28, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Flakes social moderation has not harmed him; it was his arrogance and stupidity. He picked a huge fight with Republican President right before seeking re-election.

  • shamlet September 29, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Great Mentioner has been expanded.

    R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

  • Izengabe September 29, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Re: Ben Quayle I think he made a big mistake by not running here in 2012. He would have had a very good chance of holding the seat. Sinema only won in 2012 with 48.72% of the vote (a libertarian candidate took 6.64%). As an incumbent and with the tons of money that would have thrown into his campaign for “taking one for the team” Quayle would have had a much better shot at winning a general than he did at the primary in AZ-6

    Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

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