Sinema Won’t Challenge Flake For Senate

Sinema was seen as possible contender for first-term Republican Senator Flake's Senate seat.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during the bipartisan news conference outside of the Capitol to unveil "a major proposal aimed at modernizing America's regulatory system to reduce compliance costs, encourage growth and innovation, and improve national competitiveness" on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during the bipartisan news conference outside of the Capitol to unveil "a major proposal aimed at modernizing America's regulatory system to reduce compliance costs, encourage growth and innovation, and improve national competitiveness" on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted May 4, 2017 at 12:07pm

Democatic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema will not challenge Arizona freshman Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and will run for a fourth term, she announced Wednesday.

Responding to a question about whether she would challenge Flake in an interview with Arizona radio station KTAR, Sinema she would instead run for re-election beginning at the end of June, and was “very proud to do it.”

Sinema won re-election easily in 2016 and Inside Politics With Nathan L. Gonzales rates the 9th District as Solid Democratic.

Flake is widely seen as threatened, with officials in his own party describing him as vulnerable to a primary challenge from a more conservative candidate due to his moderation on immigration and lack of support for President Donald Trump.

Democrats also see Flake as a good target and Sinema was considered a potential challenger. In April, the Democratic National Committee encouraged a raucous town hall meeting where liberal constituents took Flake to task for Trump’s health care plan, for opposing Planned Parenthood funding, and for voting to block an online privacy rule. 

With Sinema out of the running, another name being floated as a Flake challenger is Arizona state Rep. Randall Friese, a trauma surgeon who operated on former Rep. Gabby Giffords and others after the deadly 2011 shooting at a constituent event in her district.