A group of Arizona Democrats launched a political action committee to raise money for a potential primary challenger to Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, NBC News reports.
Sinema has frustrated fellow Democrats with her opposition to reforming the filibuster, which has blocked progress on a plethora of Democratic priorities, and her opposition to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
The PAC launch comes after the Arizona Democratic Party overwhelmingly backed a resolution criticizing Sinema’s obstruction and threatening a no-confidence vote if she continues to block the party’s agenda.
A new poll released on Wednesday showed that just 56% of Arizona Democrats have a favorable view of Sinema compared to 80% who have a favorable view of fellow Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly.
"Numbers like that could potentially open the door for primary challengers," said Jacob Joss of polling firm OH Predictive Insights.
A group of Democrats backed by a network of “deep-pocketed donors” from Way to Win, a network of wealthy progressives who spent $110 million last year to back Kelly and Democrats in Georgia, among others, launched the Primary Sinema PAC.
The PAC will not support a specific primary challenger but will instead fund groups to pressure Sinema and build support for a potential challenger.
"We fought tirelessly to elect Kyrsten Sinema in 2018," organizers Alex Gomez and Tomas Robles told NBC, criticizing her for not doing more to advance voting rights, climate measures, and immigration reform. "Sinema has proven time and time again that she doesn't share these values, so it's time to organize and replace her with someone who does.”
"There is still time for Senator Sinema to change course," said Luis Avila, a progressive organizer backing the PAC. "But if she does not, there will be consequences for her betrayal of the people who elected her."
Progressive advocates backed by state Sen. Martin Quezada have launched their own effort to raise money for a potential primary challenger on CrowdPAC.
“Either Sinema Votes to End the Filibuster OR We Fund a Primary Challenger,” the campaign page says.
"Senator Sinema has proven time and time again with her actions and votes that she is out of touch with the people she's supposed to represent. It is shameful that she has time to meet with all of these corporate donors, yet she has not held a single town hall or public meeting with constituents since taking her seat,” said organizer Belen Sisa.
"Somehow Kyrsten Sinema thinks she can stand alone against President Biden and the entire Democratic Party and block the life-changing reforms that tens of millions of Arizonans and Americans voted for and face no consequences," said Kai Newkirk, another organizer. "Our message is clear: listen to your base, join your party, back Biden's agenda, and help remove the filibuster as an obstacle to the urgent legislation Arizonans need."