- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Sen. Mark Kelly disagrees with the Arizona Democratic Party’s decision to censure Sen. Kyrsten Sinema after she refused to change Senate rules to pass a bill to overhaul federal elections.

“Senator Kelly does not support the censure,” Kelly campaign spokesperson Sarah Guggenheimer told The Arizona Republic Tuesday.

Arizona Democrats formally rebuked Ms. Sinema over the weekend after she voted against the Democrats’ last-ditch effort to pass their “voting rights” proposal by scrapping the 60-vote threshold for passing most legislation.

Mr. Kelly, a former astronaut, captured his seat in a special election last year and is up for reelection this year. He is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats.

Ms. Sinema is up for reelection in 2024 and has faced intense blowback from activists, including Emily’s List, the powerful political action committee that supports Democratic women who back abortion rights.

“While they came to different decisions on this vote, he looks forward to continuing to work with Senator Sinema on Arizona priorities, as they have done during his first year in the Senate to pass critical infrastructure investments that will create good-paying jobs,” Ms. Guggenheimer said.

Ms. Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, joined all 50 Republicans in opposing the Senate rule change, saying they are concerned it would deepen the nation’s political divisions.

In a statement released following the censure vote over the weekend, Rachel Teran, Arizona Democrats chair, said the GOP’s attempt to overturn the results of the election in Arizona, and to push restrictive voting laws, demands action.

“In the choice between an archaic legislative norm and protecting Arizonans’ right to vote, we choose the latter, and we always will,” she said.

Ms. Teran said the state party is “here to advocate for our constituents, and the ramifications of failing to pass federal voting rights legislation that protects the right to vote are too large and far-reaching.”

“While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Executive Board has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy,” she said.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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