Gallego vs. Sinema—a match for the progressive purple “heart” of Arizona

“If you’re more likely to be meeting with the powerful than the powerless, you’re doing this job incorrectly,” said Democratic Senate candidate Ruben Gallego in his announcement speech and referring to Ms. Sinema’s big money priorities


Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

Congressman Ruben Gallego speaking with attendees at the 2017 National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in Phoenix.

Nicole White, Reporter - Opinion

As many Arizona Democrats, some Independents, and yes, even some pissed off Republicans who voted to quash their own extreme wigged-out GOP party of late and voted Democrat in the midterms— Sinema may be trying to use the recent Ruben Gallego threat to challenge her Senate seat as an advantage. 


Even though the state is leaning more and more progressive and Arizona voters are more diverse, Arizonans cannot ignore the close—and in some races, razor thin numbers in the recent midterm election results. 

Sinema is likely eyeing those numbers in her search for a strategy that will lead her to an unprecedented upset. 

It may be too soon to bet hard-earned dollars against her—but enter Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz).

An unapologetic left Latino and one of the loudest critics of Sinema for defending the filibuster and consistently damaging Democratic priorities. 

Gallego won’t back away from a fight. 

He’s feisty and some of his statements about the “mother——s” that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 leave no question that he’s not shy about speaking his mind. 

“F— those guys,” Gallego said—and much more— in a “Playbook Deep Dive” podcast interview last year. 

Gallego’s experience and service as a Marine infantryman in Iraq contributes to his resolve to call out the Jan. 6, MAGA extremist and election denying candidates that have manufactured their own stage in American politics and Gallego sees as a constant threat to the democracy he was sworn to protect. 

“Con men will continue trying to con and grift their targets until they go to jail or they stop getting the money,” Gallego said in a Washington Post interview. 

“All the great thinkers, all the great generals, all the great planners planned these operations. I was the infantryman that was the first guy sometimes off the vehicle and into a hostile city,” he said. “When you have that perspective and you come to the Armed Services Committee, you really remember that fear, and the necessity to keep the DoD honest.”

Gallego is also not likely to hold back criticisms of any of his other possible Senate opponents including losing Arizona candidates, Kari Lake or Blake Masters. 

To Gallego, it’s the ideals that fuel him. 

He knows exactly “who” and what he’s fighting for.

Arizona progressives and even Independents keep asking—what has Ms. Sinema done—really done—on behalf of a rapidly growing Arizona diversity, youth issues, health care, voting rights, and the progressive demographic in the Grand Canyon State? 

According to Gallego and plenty of others that make up the purple population…not much.

But she’s done plenty to exasperate them. 

Sinema opposed a federal minimum wage increase with her “thumbs down” display on the floor of Congress and reportedly “helped sabotage” a plan that could have significantly lowered health care costs and then reportedly hid in a bathroom stall to elude activist’s and reporter’s questions regarding her shocking move.

She has married into the GOP family of obstructing voting rights legislation—but her biggest insult as an elected Democrat came when she supported the filibuster and supported it in a very public way. 

And many of Sinema’a harshest critics can be found on Arizona college campuses where students  protested her decisions over voting rights and made their opposition clear to her during an organized hunger strike.

Gallego defends his values and is not afraid to use harsh and even angry rhetoric in his bid to keep a swing state—moving left.