Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego announces Senate bid, set to challenge Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona announced his bid for the Senate Monday, setting up to challenge Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2024.

Gallego announced his long-anticipated Senate bid in a three and a half minute video statement. He tweeted that too many Arizonans are seeing their dream disappear. To win it back, I am running for the U.S. Senate.

A 43-year-old veteran of the military was first elected to Congress in 2014. She has been vocal in her criticism of Sinema (a long-standing political rival) as she threatened Democratic leaders including President Joe Biden with legislative priorities.

Along with Democrat Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, the Arizona senator blocked Democrats changing filibuster rules. This prevented passage of voting rights legislation as well as Biden’s Build back Better legislation, which would have extended a wide range of safety net programs, including Medicare.

Gallego stated, “I’m better than Kyrsten Sinema for this job because I haven’t forgotten where my origins are.” Gallego said, “I believe she has clearly forgotten where she comes from.” Instead of helping those in need, she meets up with people who are already powerful.

Sinema, who left the Democratic Party in December 2017, announced that she would register as an Independent and thus weakened the 51-49 Democratic control of the Senate. Although she remains in good standing with the Democrats in Senate, her departure could threaten the party’s grip on Arizona as it nears a difficult 2024 Senate map.

Gallego joins Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) on the list for Democrats looking to fill the Senate seat in 2024. Porter, who is representing California’s Orange County in the Senate, launched her campaign to replace Dianne Feinstein, a long-serving California senator, earlier this month.

Porter, a progressive lawmaker and outspoken advocate for change, announced her candidacy for Senate amid speculation Feinstein would not seek reelection.