Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced on Friday that she was leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an independent, complicating Democratic control of the Senate.
Sinema made her decision public in an op-ed in the Arizona Republic in which she said that increasing partisanship and extremism in both parties caused her to switch her party affiliation to independent.
"Americans are told that we have only two choices – Democrat or Republican – and that we must subscribe wholesale to policy views the parties hold, views that have been pulled further and further toward the extremes," Sinema said in the op-ed.
"Most Arizonans believe this is a false choice, and when I ran for the US House and the Senate, I promised Arizonans something different," she wrote. "I pledged to be independent and work with anyone to achieve lasting results. I committed I would not demonize people I disagreed with, engage in name-calling, or get distracted by political drama."
In the op-ed, Sinema charged that both parties care more about ensuring the other party doesn’t succeed that looking out for the interests of their constituents.
The 46-year old senator has been aggressively targeted by progressive activists for not agreeing with her party on certain major issues, including spending and abolishing the filibuster.
"When politicians are more focused on denying the opposition party a victory than they are on improving Americans’ lives, the people who lose are everyday Americans," Sinema said.
"That’s why I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington. I registered as an Arizona independent. "
Sinema has not said whether she will still caucus with the Democrats. But, according to Fox News, sources said that she will keep her committee assignments.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)