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NEW: Primary Sinema PAC Launches Amid Growing Dissatisfaction with the Arizona Lawmaker
The effort will fund grassroots groups in Arizona leading the fight to replace Sinema with a candidate committed to working for the people of Arizona
PHOENIX — Today, Arizona and Democratic Party stakeholders announced the launch of the Primary Sinema PAC, a campaign that will fund grassroots efforts in Arizona to hold U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema accountable and prepare to mount a viable primary challenge against her. The effort launches just days after the Arizona Democratic Party threatened a vote of no-confidence against Sinema for her continued obstruction of President Joe Biden’s agenda and refusal to reform the unpopular Senate filibuster.
“It’s clear that Sen. Sinema is not listening to the people of Arizona,” said Alex Gomez and Tomas Robles, Co-Executive Directors of Living United for Change in Arizona or LUCHA. “We fought tirelessly to elect Kyrsten Sinema in 2018, to defeat Donald Trump in 2020, and to elect leaders in our state who are committed to defending democracy, acting urgently on climate change and immigration reform, and standing up for our most vulnerable communities. Sinema has proven time and time again that she doesn’t share these values, so it’s time to organize and replace her with someone who does.”
Adding to growing dissatisfaction from voters at home, Sinema just last week reversed course on a key campaign promise to fight for lower prescription drug costs—a provision included in Biden's Build Back Better reconciliation bill—after taking more than $750,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry. The Arizona lawmaker also held a high-dollar fundraiser this week with business groups who oppose the bill because it will raise taxes on corporations and the rich.
The Primary Sinema PAC has no plans to support a particular primary challenger. Rather, money raised will go to support grassroots groups on the ground in Arizona who led the fight to turn Arizona blue over the course of the last decade and are leading the fight to hold Sinema accountable, making the case that it’s time for change, and helping to lay the foundation for a successful primary campaign when a strong challenger emerges.
The PAC launches with the backing of Way to Win, a network of donors and organizers that launched in 2017 to oust Donald Trump and funded a $110 million plan in 2020 that primarily focused on the South and Southwest with significant resources going to Arizona and Georgia. The fund has since supported Arizona political organizations and campaigns, as well as primary challengers against other corporate Democrats.
“The people of Arizona voted for Joe Biden and the Biden agenda,” said Leah Hunt-Hendrix, Co-Founder and Vice President of Way to Win. “Sen. Sinema is opposing Biden’s popular policies, which are supported by broad, bipartisan majorities of Arizonans. If she continues to stand in the way, then we’re going to hold her accountable.”
Today’s announcement adds to a mounting pile of evidence pointing to Sinema’s vulnerability in a statewide primary contest. A Data For Progress poll conducted over the summer revealed that the vast majority of likely Democratic voters in Arizona (66 percent) would support a primary challenger to Sinema who is committed to getting rid of the Senate filibuster. Overall, support for the lawmaker is not only weak among Democrats, but she is also far less popular with independents in Arizona than Biden and her Senate colleague Mark Kelly.
“There is still time for Senator Sinema to change course,” said Luis Avila, veteran Arizona organizer. “But if she does not, there will be consequences for her betrayal of the people who elected her. We're counting on her to represent our best interests, including President Biden's Build Back Better priorities and democracy reform.”
“The attacks on voting rights and our democracy have been un-American and against everything I fought for in service to this country,” said David F. Lucier, President of the Arizona Veterans & Military Leadership Alliance. “Senator Sinema’s failure to stand up for Arizonans in the face of this anti-democratic assault has been discouraging. If she does not reverse course and do everything she can to pass President Biden's agenda, including robust voting rights expansion and the Build Back Better plan, then she will deserve a primary challenge. We can't afford to wait and must start creating that groundswell now."
Over the coming weeks and months, the Primary Sinema PAC will aim to harness this dissatisfaction and growing grassroots energy to hold Sen. Sinema accountable to the voters who elected her. More information about the campaign can be found at: www.primarysinema.com.