POLITICS

Kyrsten Sinema Won't Switch Districts, Will Run For Reelection In Current Seat

03/07/2014 11:50 am ET
Alex Wong via Getty Images

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) will run for reelection in Arizona's Ninth District after reportedly pondering a move to the neighboring Seventh District, which is considerably more Democratic-leaning.

Sinema announced her decision in a Facebook post on Thursday, putting to rest speculation that she'd seek security in a safer district.

“I am flattered that some of my old neighbors and friends asked me to consider running for Congress in District 7," Sinema wrote. "But I love my job representing the people of the 9th district and there is so much more to be done on behalf of the middle class. I am proud of the work I have accomplished but I have only just begun to change the way Congress does business."

After the Seventh District's Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.) announced that he will retire at the end of his term, political commenters hypothesized that Sinema would weigh switching, given that she faces two Republican challengers.

State Rep. Ruben Gallego (D), who is running for Pastor's seat, told Roll Call Sunday that Sinema’s decision wouldn't affect his own.

“I’m a big supporter of Kyrsten Sinema,” Gallego said. “I got to work for her, work with her. I’ve donated to her campaign the first time around, the second time around, and I hope she stays in District 9 because she is the right moderate, business-oriented voice for that district.”

Another factor in Sinema's decision may have been wanting to avoid angering Hispanic leaders, who noted that the Seventh District has a legacy of Hispanic representation and is a majority-minority one.

The National Republican Congressional Committee aired a radio ad and launched robocalls in Sinema's district in an attempt to warn her that her path to reelection wouldn't be easy in the Ninth District.

“That fact that Congresswoman Sinema even considered abandoning her constituents for a safer district proves that she knows she’s completely out of touch with the people she claims to represent," NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman said, according to The Hill. "Sinema will be forced to spend the next eight months explaining why President Obama hand-picked her to help craft and sell ObamaCare."

Though she has a legacy of advocacy for progressive causes, Sinema joined the conservative Blue Dog coalition in January to shore up her image as a moderate Democrat.

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