Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced Tuesday she would not be running for reelection, ending her time in the Senate after one term.

In response to her statement, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney praised her work and referenced their past collaborations.

“Kyrsten is one of a kind — brilliant, hardworking, and driven,” he wrote in a post on social media. “A fierce defender of the institution of the Senate and unwavering in doing what’s best for Arizonans and our country. Proud to call her a friend and a partner on many policy achievements.”

Sinema is the latest in a string of moderate lawmakers who have chosen to leave Congress rather than seek reelection amid growing partisan unrest.

Mitt Romney and his moderate friends plan to leave Senate or face an uphill battle for reelection
Romney says he’s open to backing Sinema in Arizona Senate race

Romney previously stated he was open to endorsing Sinema in a potential 2024 Senate race, as the two have worked together in the past. Their political careers have been marked by efforts to bridge the partisan gap.

The Arizona senator ran in 2018 as a Democrat but announced her decision to leave the party and continue as an independent in 2022. In a social media post announcing her decision to leave the Senate, Sinema referenced growing partisanship and a lack of civility and understanding in politics as reasons for her departure.

“In 2017, I warned we were approaching a crossroads. Our democracy was weakened by government dysfunction and the constant pull to the extremes by both political parties,” she said. “We’ve arrived at that crossroads, and we chose anger and division. I believe in my approach, but it’s not what America wants right now.”

Recent polls showed Sinema was trailing behind the two likely nominees for her seat. According to a survey from The Hill, Democratic candidate Ruben Gallego was leading by 6 points, followed by Republican candidate Kari Lake.

Sinema’s message did not include information on her plans for the future.

Finding Kyrsten Sinema