Sinema faces Arizona blowback over becoming the Senate's new unmovable roadblock
7 min read
Alejandra Gomez worked tirelessly to get Democrats, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, elected in 2018. But now she feels betrayed.
Phoenix (CNN) Alejandra Gomez worked tirelessly to get Democrats, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema , elected in 2018. But now she feels betrayed.

The 39-year-old co-executive director of the community organizing group LUCHA went door to door in the sweltering Arizona heat in 2018, turning out the Democratic voters that helped get Sinema elected to the Senate. The work was arduous and the hours long, but Gomez and others believed deeply in the need to defeat Republican Martha McSally, who had aligned herself with then-President Donald Trump.

Her work paid off -- Sinema won by nearly 3 percentage points. But it is what happened next -- the Arizona Democrat has become one of the most unmovable roadblocks on Democratic priorities in Washington -- that has shocked people who considered themselves ardent Sinema supporters a few short years ago.

Gomez now has another label for the woman she helped elect: A wolf in sheep's clothing.

"What has happened is a complete slap in the face to our members, to the work they have done and to the change that they are trying to make in our communities," Gomez said. "If she is not part of the solution, she is part of the problem. And what we are seeing is that she is touting herself as a bipartisan leader, but we have yet to see where the bipartisanship stands. She has done nothing."

In an evenly divided Senate, each individual senator wields considerable power. But the bulk of that influence has fallen on the shoulders of Democratic senators like Sinema, willing to buck their party on key priorities. The positioning has elevated the senator's profile -- she is now often talked about nationally as someone President Joe Biden's administration must court and is at the center of talks over a sweeping infrastructure bill.

But back home, her refusal to support a number of Democratic priorities -- from getting rid of the filibuster to raising the minimum wage to $15-an-hour -- has created deep distrust with her party's base and even…
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