Kyrsten Sinema Plays Coy on John McCain Challenge

Sinema, left, is an Arizona Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Sinema, left, is an Arizona Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted February 4, 2015 at 5:00am

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., brushed off speculation Tuesday she would challenge Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2016.  

Democrats and Republicans have mentioned Sinema might run against the five-term Republican. The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday she formed a leadership PAC, stoking speculation about a statewide bid.  “There are a lot of people in Congress who have leadership PACs,” Sinema told CQ Roll Call outside the House chamber. “Actually, most. So do you think all of those people are going to run against John McCain? Oof, that’s a big field.”  

Asked if she was thinking about a Senate bid, Sinema said, “No. I’m really thinking about doing a good job for my constituents in Congressional District 9.”  

McCain has not yet formally announced he will seek re-election, saying he will “most likely”  run again. He had $2 million in the bank as of the end of last year, and he boasts a strong political organization in the state.  

Two Republicans have expressed interest in challenging the senator in a primary. Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., told CQ Roll Call last year that he was considering it. Earlier this month, The Hill reported that Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., is also interested.