Rep. Gallego: I Received Lots of Encouragement to Primary Sinema

Rep. Gallego: I Received Lots of Encouragement to Primary Sinema Rep. Gallego: I Received Lots of Encouragement to Primary Sinema Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP, File)

By Luca Cacciatore | Thursday, 20 January 2022 06:47 PM

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., told CNN on Thursday said that he has received "a lot of encouragement" from Democratic elected officials, unions and donors to challenge Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., for U.S. Senate in 2024.

"To be honest, I have gotten a lot of encouragement from elected officials, from senators, from unions, from your traditional Democratic groups, big donors," Gallego, a seven-year House veteran, told the network. "Everything you can imagine under the sun."

"It's more than one [senator]," he added.

Sinema has come under fire for breaking with her party, along with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on several critical pieces of legislation of the Biden administration's agenda.

The Arizona senator was partially responsible for scaling the $3.5 trillion "Build Back Better" act down to closer to $2 trillion, The Washington Post reported in October.

Sinema also recently drew criticism from one of her most significant contributors, the pro-choice advocacy group Emily's List.

The group issued a statement that it was dissatisfied with Sinema's decision to vote against a filibuster rules change intended to pass sweeping Democratic voting legislation, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. The organization threatened to end its financial support if the senator continued to refuse to change the Senate's filibuster rules to allow for passage of voting legislation.

"Understanding that access to the ballot box and confidence in election results are critical to our work and our country, we have joined with many others to impress upon Senator Sinema the importance of the pending voting rights legislation in the Senate," said Laphonza Butler, the president of Emily's List. "So far, those concerns have not been addressed."

The Senate rules change to eliminate the filibuster failed on Wednesday 52-48 with Sinema and Manchin both dissenting, per CNN.

Gallego insisted that Sinema is also vulnerable because "nobody in the state has seen hide nor hair of her for the last three years."

"She hasn't had one town hall; everything she does is scripted," Gallego said. "She says she refuses to negotiate in public, but we want to know who is she negotiating for? Is it for Arizonans? Or is it for the pharmaceutical companies or whatever other interests that she is more likely to have meetings with than it is with the actual constituents?"

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