Rep. Ruben Gallego officially announces run for U.S. Senate
Gallego wants the seat of U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the Democrat recently turned Independent.
Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego announced his run for U.S. Senate earlier Monday morning, Jan. 23, and is officially running for the seat held by Senior U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the Democrat who left her party this past December to become an Independent.
If elected, he would be the first Latino to represent the Grand Canyon State in the U.S. Senate.
“The problem isn’t that Senator Sinema abandoned the Democratic Party — it’s that she’s abandoned Arizona. She’s repeatedly broken her promises and fought for the interests of big pharma and Wall Street at our expense. I’m running for the U.S. Senate because the rich and the powerful don’t need any more advocates in Washington — but families who can’t afford groceries do,” he said in a statement Monday.
Newsweek first learned early Friday, Jan. 20, that Gallego would be set to announce his run for Sinema’s Senate seat on Monday, Jan. 23. Sen. Sinema has not yet announced if she plans to run for re-election. Gallego is also the first major candidate to throw their name in the candidate pool.
The former state lawmaker announced his campaign in a video released on Twitter in both Spanish and English that highlighted his humble beginnings as the son of an immigrant mother in Chicago, his life as a combat marine veteran fighting in Iraq.
The video also shows Gallego announcing his decision to run to fellow veterans at American Legion Post 124 in Guadalupe, Ariz., just over 11 miles south of Phoenix.
“Growing up poor, all I had was the American dream. It kept me going: as a kid sleeping on the floor, a student scrubbing toilets, a Marine losing brothers in Iraq,” Gallego said. “Today, too many Arizonans see their dream slipping away. I’m running for the U.S. Senate to win it back for you.”
The announcement is expected to be followed by an in-state press tour with several events that the campaign will soon announce, as it already has consultants, and some initial staff.
The long-awaited announcement from the marine veteran has finally come after months of hints and much anticipation, as well as criticism towards Sinema herself regarding her leadership, and the decision to leave her party this past December, after the party had won the Senate in the midterm elections.
On his official campaign website, Gallego puts Sinema front and center, accusing the Senator of putting her own interests ahead of her constituents.
“She had accepted huge campaign contributions from the wealthy and well-connected and in turn blocked legislation to raise the minimum wage, lower the cost of prescription drugs, expand voting rights and more,” he said.
Sinema’s pending decision to run for re-election, depending on what she decides, will have its own set of outcomes.
One of which includes a potential three-way face off between Gallego, Sinema as an Independent, and a GOP candidate that could potentially be former gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake, who according to CNN’s Kate Sullivan on Jan. 16, was weighing a decision to enter the race.
While Gallego has made Sinema the main villain of this story, the race might see a few strong Republican candidates enter the race including the aforementioned Lake, and Republican Blake Masters, who lost this past November to incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, is also “strongly considering” running, according to a spokesperson.
Karrin Taylor Robson, who lost to Kari Lake in 2022’s Republican primary, backed by the state’s former GOP governor, Doug Ducey, has also hinted at a potential Senate bid.
Gallego, a longtime Arizona official, knows the issues facing many of his constituents, and is promoting himself as being not just a fighter for his country, but for those struggling to make ends meet in his state.
“Most families feel that they are one or two paychecks away from going under. That is not the way that we should be living in this country,” Gallego said in his announcement video. “The rich and the powerful, they don’t need more advocates. It’s the people that are still trying to decide between groceries and utilities that need a fighter for them.”