Rep. Gallego Announces Cinema’s Bid for Arizona Senate Seat

Phoenix (AP) — Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallegoa liberal firebrand and prominent Latino lawmaker.

Gallego said he would fight for ordinary people who struggle to make ends meet and lose faith in politicians. rice field.

“I’m better suited for this job than Kirsten Cinema because I haven’t forgotten where I’m from,” Gallego told the Associated Press. “Clearly she thinks she’s forgotten where she came from. Instead of meeting someone who needs help, she already powerful people

A 43-year-old veteran who was first elected to Congress in 2014, Gallego has made no secret of his interest in challenging his longtime rival in Arizona politics, cinema. Obstacle and Inspiring for Democrats The presidency of Joe Biden.Girlfriend left the Democratic Party in December, Register as independent She said she “doesn’t fit well into the traditional party system”. She has not disclosed whether she plans to run for her second term.

None of the Republicans are in the race, but potential candidates include former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, former U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters, and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. increase. Karin Taylor-Robson, a home developer who lost to Lake in last year’s primary, and former governor Doug Ducey are also strong candidates.

A three-way race, combined with the risk of cinema and ultimately Democratic candidates splitting the vote, will complicate the party’s already uphill battle to retain. 2024 Senate ControlDemocrats will be forced to defend 23 seats, including two other seats held by Cinema and Independents, while Republicans have only 10 seats.

With a tough and expensive campaign on the horizon, it remains unclear how well the Democratic establishment and key funders will be able to compete with cinema. voted on most Democratic bills even if she got in the way of major priorities For the White House, congressional leaders, and progressive movements.

“I think they’re with us because we run a winning campaign. After all, when you look at where the people of Arizona are going, they’re not with us. , will be with us. It’s her,” Gallego told the Associated Press.

Cinema spokeswoman Hannah Hurley did not immediately comment on Gallego’s announcement.

Gallego, an acerbic social media presence, quickly defeat rivals Both parties came up with the idea to ask cinema for funding last year, hired a Democratic campaign veteran with experience working on battleground state Senate elections in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania, and oversaw a team of advisors over the course of several weeks. collected publicly.

He announced the campaign with an online video showing him talking to veterans at the American Legion’s Post in Guadalupe, a Latino and Indigenous community just outside of Phoenix.

The son of immigrants from Mexico and Colombia, Gallego was raised in Chicago by a single mother after his father was imprisoned for drug dealing. While on leave from Harvard University, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. In his 2021 book, he writes: “They called us lucky” He was asked to leave Harvard during his sophomore year, partied too much, had poor grades, and broke unspecified rules.

He fought in Iraq in 2005 with a unit that suffered heavy casualties and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder upon his return. He moved to Arizona to join his Harvard University girlfriend, who was becoming active in Democratic politics in Arizona. The couple married in 2010 and divorced in 2017, a month before their son was born. His ex-wife, Kate Gallego, is now mayor of Phoenix.

Gallego was elected to the state legislature in 2010 and also served one of two terms with Cinema. In 2014, he won a bitter congressional primary, overthrowing a dynasty figure in the Phoenix Latino community. He represents overwhelmingly Democratic constituencies, including black and Latinx neighborhoods south and west of Phoenix.

Congress has focused on veterans and military issues.

Cinema modeled her political approach on the maverick style of the late Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona.she became ardent proponent of bipartisan compromise In a time when extreme partisanship made that much more difficult.

She has been at the center of many of President Biden’s biggest congressional deals, from massive bipartisan infrastructure packages to groundbreaking legislation to legally protect same-sex marriage. It also alienates many Democrats who accuse her of voting down progressive priorities like raising the minimum wage and dampening other priorities like Biden’s big social spending initiative. became.

her support for maintenance filibusterSenate rules requiring 60 out of 100 votes to pass most bills have made her a left-leaning pariah.