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Congressman Ruben Gallego has officially announced that he will run for Senator in Arizona, challenging current Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

On Monday (Jan. 23), the Democratic member of the House of Representatives announced that he intends to run for Senator in the state of Arizona in 2024. Ruben Gallego released a video of himself addressing a group of veterans in the town of Guadalupe, saying: “You’re the first group of people that are hearing this besides my family. I will be challenging Kyrsten Sinema for the United States Senate, and I need all of your support.”

Gallego, who is of Colombian and Mexican descent, released an announcement video in English and Spanish afterward. “As a Marine, I never back down from a fight and in the Senate, I’ll fight to make sure every Arizonan has the same chance that I had at the American Dream,” he said. He was first elected to the House from his Phoenix-area district in 2014 and has been a fierce critic of Sinema over the past few months which led many to anticipate his announcement.

The announcement adds more drama to a Senate race that is gaining national attention due to Sinema’s surprising exit from the Democratic Party in December, declaring herself as an independent. Gallego and others have criticized her for her centrist approach which led her to support Republicans on issues concerning voting and blocking legislation last year.

Sinema has been tied to Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia. “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,” Gallego said in his statement.

While there is some uncertainty if other Arizona Democrats will join Gallego in challenging Sinema for her seat, former GOP gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson has stated that she’s considering a run. Blake Masters, who lost his Senate challenge to Mark Kelly last November and was an election denier in support of former President Donald Trump, has also expressed interest in running.

The most prominent and controversial GOP candidate, Kari Lake, reportedly is “very invested in the legal battle” she has against Katie Hobbs, who defeated her for governor in the midterms. Lake, a serial election denier, has refused to concede her loss.

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