‘It’s a strange situation’: Democrats in DC quiet so far on Ruben Gallego’s Senate run

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., said he backed Kystern Sinema in 2018 expecting her to fight to raise the minimum wage and ensure tax fairness

Democrats in Washington still know and need Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, keeping reaction to Rep. Ruben Gallego’s run publicly muted.

By Ronald J. Hansen || Arizona Republic

Standing adjacent to some brick-and-mortar reminders of his life’s course in Phoenix, Rep. Ruben Gallego zipped through a rags-to-respectability life story to explain his interest in the U.S. Senate.

Then he turned to the other reason that pushed him and the hundreds of Democrats on hand to this moment: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz.

Gallego, D-Ariz., said he backed her in 2018 expecting her to fight to raise the minimum wage and ensure tax fairness.

“That’s the senator I thought I voted for. That’s the senator you voted for,” he said. “But that is not the senator we got.”

Some muttered their disapproval of Sinema, a former Democrat, during Gallego’s stump speech. Others were hurt or even angry at what they view as Sinema’s political betrayal.

Whatever their thinking, it wasn’t hard to guess as Gallego rolled out his Senate campaign in Arizona. It stood in contrast to the measured response — when there was one at all — in many corners of Capitol Hill.

In various interviews with reporters throughout the past week, figures like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a hero to the liberal left, all passed, at least for the moment, on backing the only high-profile candidate seeking their party’s nomination.

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