On Wednesday, former President Barack Obama visited Phoenix as part of his ongoing nationwide tour to rally support for Democratic candidates competing in close midterm election contests. On the other hand, despite the fact that both control of Congress and the governor’s house in Arizona are up in the air, one of Arizona’s most prominent elected Democrats was absent from the gathering.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema did not attend the event where former President Barack Obama exhorted Democratic voters to show up at the ballot box and help her colleague, Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Arizona, fend off a challenge from Republican Blake Masters. Obama’s event was held in Arizona. Sinema’s absence was notable. In addition, Obama advised people to vote for Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs for governor of Arizona rather than Republican contender Kari Lake for governor of Arizona. Hobbs is presently serving as Arizona’s secretary of state.
“If you’ve got election deniers serving as your governor, as your senator, as your secretary of state, as your attorney general, then democracy as we know it may not survive in Arizona,” Obama said Wednesday. “That’s not an exaggeration. That is a fact.”
Laurie Roberts, a writer for the Arizona Republic, was informed by a representative for the Arizona Democratic Party that Kyrsten Sinema had been invited to the event but was unable to attend because she had an “obligation” outside of Phoenix.
Given that the election on November 8 is less than a week away and that polls conducted by Fox News indicate that both Kelly and Hobbs are heading for a photo finish on Tuesday, Sinema’s absence came as a surprise. On the other hand, Sinema’s support for her fellow Democrats during this election campaign has been less vocal than in previous cycles.
In spite of the fact that Sinema has declared on many occasions that she believes Kelly will win and has written a number of emails soliciting financial support for him, HuffPost reported the week before last that she has only organized one fundraiser on his behalf. The Kelly campaign has not brought Sinema in front of voters despite the fact that she has contributed $10,000 to the campaign.
Even less has been done by Sinema for Hobbs, who got her foot in the door of the political world by volunteering for one of Sinema’s campaigns for state legislative office. Before last week, when she told HuffPost that she had voted early for Hobbs in the race for governor, Sinema hadn’t let the public know that she supported Hobbs’ campaign.
People who follow politics are surprised by how moderate Sinema is, while progressives are angry that she is willing to go against the majority of her party.
For her support of the filibuster in the Senate, Sinema has been referred to as both a racist and a “bigot.” Because of her worries over the Inflation Reduction Act, the Democrats were unable to continue with their social spending and tax plan for a number of months, until Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed to a number of her requests. Some progressive groups have even said they will back Sinema’s main opponent if she decides to run for re-election to the Senate at the end of her current term.