Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema announced her decision to leave the Democratic Party and officially register as an Independent in a Twitter thread shared early Friday (December 9) morning, along with an op-ed for AZCentral.com.
"In a natural extension of my service since I was first elected to Congress, I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington and formally registering as an Arizona Independent," Sinema wrote.
"Over the past four years, I’ve worked proudly with other Senators in both parties and forged consensus on successful laws helping everyday Arizonans build better lives for themselves and their families.
"Becoming an Independent won’t change my work in the Senate; my service to Arizona remains the same"
Sinema's announcement comes days after the Democrats reached a 51-49 majority after Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock was re-elected following a runoff vote against former football player Herschel Walker.
Sinema's announcement is the latest in several major changes during her political career, having initially began as a liberal activist and member of the Green Party before joining the Democratic Party prior to serving in the Arizona state Legislature and later winning a seat in the U.S. House in 2012.
The 46-year-old has, however, held a central view while in Congress, which included rejecting a filibuster rule change, which would have helped pass a major voting rights bill, a top priority of President Joe Biden's administration, in 2022.
An official for the Biden administration told NBC News that Sinema will continue to caucus with the Democrats, which has previously been the case for Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine.
“[We] don’t really think it changes much except her re-election path,” the official said.