Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) said on Monday that he will make a decision on whether to challenge Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) for her seat in 2024 after the holidays.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Gallego said that he’s “been very clear about being interested in this race,” adding that he would discuss the matter with his family and constituents in the coming weeks before making a final call on a Senate bid.
“I’m going to listen to my family over the holidays. I have a big Latino family that’s going to come in over Christmas, it’s going to be a very, very crowded house,” he said. “But then after that, we’ll be making a decision. And we’ll be making a decision based on what’s best for Arizona and based on what I hear from the actual constituents of Arizona.”
Gallego, a Marine Corps veteran who just won a fifth term in the House last month, has long been floated as a potential challenger to Sinema, a now-former Democrat who repeatedly drew the ire of her old party for holding up key legislative priorities.
But Sinema’s decision last week to change her party registration to independent has put more pressure on Gallego to announce a Senate bid.
And Gallego has begun more openly teasing the prospect in recent days. A fundraising text from his campaign on Friday noted that he is “thinking of running” for Sinema’s seat and he has also begun assembling a team for a potential 2024 Senate campaign.
Gallego, who has long been one of Sinema’s most ardent Democratic critics, has also ramped up his rhetoric against the newly minted independent senator. During his “Morning Joe” appearance on Monday, Gallego said that Sinema’s party switch wasn’t the “end of the world,” but added that the move proved she doesn’t “match Arizona values.”