SJohn Thune (R-SD) on Monday recommended that his close friend and fellow lawmaker, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who recently left the Democratic Party, run for re-election as a Republican to avoid a run at three bands .
Thune, who has joined other Republican senators in calling for Sinema to join the party after partnering with them on multiple decisions, did not commit to supporting Sinema in his re-election campaign if he decides show up again
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Sen. John Thune, R-SD, speaks during a news conference with members of the Senate Republican leadership, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
“I’ll see. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Thune told reporters, according to The Hill. “Many Republicans [are] talking about it Obviously we would like her to become a Republican or at least a caucus [with] republicans That would make things a little clearer.”
Although Sinema has worked with his GOP counterparts on important conservative issues such as infrastructure, taxes and gun violence, Sinema said he was an independent and would not caucus with Republicans when he left the party in December.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is expected to be the next Democrat to leave the party, according to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as he believes the party is drifting further to the left and away from Manchin. The West Virginia senator has not pledged to run as a Democrat when he seeks re-election in 2024.
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Thune’s comments Monday afternoon come after Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) announced his candidacy for Sinema’s Senate seat. Sinema has not yet announced whether he will seek another term. However, if he does and runs as an independent, it would open up the race to three if the Republicans also nominate someone.
Democrats have not confirmed whether they will vote for Gallego or another Democrat over Sinema.