People Who Campaigned for Kyrsten Sinema Are Pissed

The volunteers who helped the former Democrat get elected have some thoughts now that she’s rebranded herself as an Independent.

People Who Campaigned for Kyrsten Sinema Are Pissed
Photo:Anna Moneymaker (Getty Images)

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has ticked off a lot of people with her decision to switch her registration from Democrat to Independent, and that list unsurprisingly includes the phone-banking and door-knocking volunteers who worked to get her elected in 2018.

Nathan Kohrman, a field organizer for the Arizona Democratic Party, said he interviewed dozens of Sinema canvassers for The Atlantic and found they were both disappointed and outright angry.

Here’s one who felt Sinema misled her, and thereby made volunteers mislead voters:

[Retired teacher Ana Doan] was thrilled when Sinema won, but her excitement was short-lived. Sinema, in her view, started spending too much time with the Big Business people who had funded her campaign and not enough time among the working-class folks who’d made phone calls for her. Doan told me it hurt to watch her senator block positive initiatives that other Democrats wanted to pass. “She made an idiot out of me, and I made an idiot out of all the people I spoke to,” Doan said. She said she wished Sinema had run as an independent in 2018, so people knew who she really was.

Here’s one who said she’s now going to knock on doors for Sinema’s opponent:

[Devina] Alvarado, the forklift driver, had never volunteered on a political campaign before. She canvassed for Sinema a few days a week after finishing work and on the weekends too, always wearing her pink Planned Parenthood shirt. Alvarado couldn’t believe it when Sinema said she thought protecting the filibuster was essential to protecting women’s rights. When Sinema comes up in conversation these days, Alvarado’s fiancé teases her. “He knows I’m super salty that I volunteered for her,” she told me. “I for sure look forward to canvassing for her opponent.”

And here’s the most heartbreaking one, from a formerly homeless man who couldn’t believe the Senator who experienced housing insecurity voted against increasing the minimum wage:

Michael considered Sinema to be a personal hero when he started volunteering on her campaign in Phoenix. A few years before, he’d been homeless, just as she had been. But Michael felt betrayed in March of 2021, when Sinema voted against raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. “Hunger changes people,” he wrote to me in an email. “It made me want to make no one feel that way. I’m guessing it made her protective of what she has.”

Good luck to this woman if she plans to try and get elected again in 2024!

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