A key Democratic senator has announced she is leaving the party in a move that has shocked her constituents and Washington, D.C.
Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema will now identify as an independent and not a Democrat.
"When politicians are more focused on denying the opposition party a victory than they are on improving Americans' lives, the people who lose are everyday Americans," she wrote in AZ Central.
She added, "That's why I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington."
Sinema told CNN she's never neatly fit into a party box and that she doesn't want to.
She also believes many Americans will identify with her move because they're tired of partisanship.
"Everyday Americans are increasingly left behind by national parties' rigid partisanship, which has hardened in recent years. Pressures in both parties pull leaders to the edges, allowing the loudest, most extreme voices to determine their respective parties' priorities and expecting the rest of us to fall in line," she said.
"In catering to the fringes, neither party has demonstrated much tolerance for diversity of thought. Bipartisan compromise is seen as a rarely acceptable last resort, rather than the best way to achieve lasting progress. Payback against the opposition party has replaced thoughtful legislating," she added.
As CBN News reported, former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard also announced in October that she was leaving the Democratic Party.
Gabbard, who had been a Democrat for 20 years, denounced the political party and its leadership who she called "an elitist cabal" that's "driven by cowardly wokeness."
"I was drawn to the ideals of a big tent inclusive Democratic Party that stood up for working men and women," Gabbard announced on Twitter, "that stood up for the little guy."
She continued, "I can no longer remain in today's Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, who actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, who are hostile to people of faith and spirituality, who demonize the police, who protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, who believe in open borders, who weaponize the national security state to go after their political opponents. And above all, who are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war."
Sinema says she will "focus on common-sense solutions rather than party doctrine." In the past, she has disagreed with Democrats to get that done, including resisting higher tax rates and changing the filibuster so the Democrats can move ahead with some of their priorities.
Her decision is unlikely to change the balance of power in the new Senate. Democrats will still have 50 seats in the Senate, and Republicans will have 49, so the Democrats will keep control.