Politics

Arizona Democratic Senate Candidate Turns On Schumer, ‘Won’t Vote For Him’ As Leader

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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The Arizona Democrat running for Senate will not vote for New York Sen. Chuck Schumer as party leader if elected, even though he endorsed her early campaign.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic nominee for Senate, is criticizing the national party in apparent move to attract voters to help her take the Republican seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake, who will retire at the end of this term. (RELATED: Jeff Flake Is Apparently Trying To Get A Job On MSNBC Or CNN)

“I am not going to vote for him,” Sinema said in an interview with Politico when asked about her opinion on the current minority leader.

Before Sinema announced her candidacy for the open Arizona Senate seat, Schumer quietly offered his endorsement to the fourth-term representative in August 2017, The Hill reported at the time. She became the first politician to represent the newly-created 9th district, which covers vast swaths of Phoenix suburbs, in 2012.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas doubted that Sinema would hold to her commitment against Schumer. “I don’t have much doubt about how she would vote as a member of the Democratic conference when she got here,” Cornyn told Politico.

To win Arizona, which President Donald Trump won in 2016 by more than three percentage points, Sinema appears to be taking a centrist platform, avoiding tough criticism of Trump and criticizing her own party.

“The Democratic leadership has failed Democrats across the country,” Sinema told Politico. “I am unafraid to say what I believe about what I think our party needs to do, and I think our party needs to grow and change.”

When asked if Trump made a good president, Sinema gave the controversial president the benefit of the doubt. “He has challenges,” Sinema said. “Transitioning from a CEO position to a presidency is probably a difficult challenge.”

Republican hopefuls for Flake’s seat are battling it out for GOP nomination in the August 28 primary. Arizona Rep. Martha McSally is supported by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, while former-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who received a presidential pardon earlier this year, and state Sen. Kelli Ward are also gunning for the seat.

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