Web Stories Saturday, February 24

If only everyone got along this well with their ex.

Arizona progressive Rep. Ruben Gallego’s former wife backed him to unseat incumbent Kyrsten Sinema Monday — despite the pair separating while she was pregnant in 2016.

Kate Gallego, who has been mayor of Phoenix since 2019, said in a statement rolled out by her ex-husband’s campaign: “I know first-hand his commitment to building a brighter future for Arizona.”

“We have real challenges facing our state that require a leader who is dedicated to fighting for working families and the most vulnerable,” the former Kate Widland added. “He’ll do an excellent job working for all of us as our next senator.”

Allies of Gallego have insisted the divorce was amicable and underscored that the congressman co-parents the couple’s son Michael.

Ruben, 44, married lobbyist Sydney Barron in 2021 and their daughter was born earlier this year.

Kate Gallego is backing her ex-husband to be Arizona senator. ZUMAPRESS.com

Presumptive Republican nominee Kari Lake had long needled Gallego over the divorce, writing on X in October: “Ruben, you left your wife when she was 9 months pregnant. Maybe you should sit this one out” after the Democrat blasted her position on abortion.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has also cut ads knocking Gallego over the divorce.

“It looks like the image rehab machine has been kicked on at Gallego HQ,” NRSC spokesperson Tate Mitchell told The Post Monday. “While we’re sure he’d love everyone to forget, Ruben Gallego can’t escape the fact that he abandoned his wife when she was nearly nine months pregnant.”

Ruben Gallego has mounted a progressive challenge for Arizona’s highly coveted Senate seat. Alexandra Buxbaum/Shutterstock

In his memoir, released in 2021, Gallego — a former Marine who fought in Iraq — suggested he had been overwhelmed by post-traumatic stress disorder as well as survivor’s guilt and the responsibilities of being a freshman congressman and soon-to-be-father.

“What am I chasing here?” Gallego pondered in his book: “A reason to be alive. Because I didn’t think I deserved to be.”

Arizona’s Senate contest is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested battles of the 2024 cycle.

The congressman appears poised for a collision course with Kari Lake. Polaris

Sinema, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent late last year, filed to run for re-election in April, but has not yet formally launched her campaign.

Lake, the unsuccessful Republican nominee for governor in 2022, and Gallego, who has been in Congress since 2015, are widely expected to be the GOP and Democratic nominees.

Both Gallego and Lake’s campaign declined to comment on the record. A spokesperson for the Kate Gallego did not immediately return a request for comment.

Both Kate and Ruben Gallego have tried to keep details of their divorce private. Jerry Harper

Republicans only need to win a net of two seats next year to reclaim the upper chamber of Congress.

Democrats are defending 20 seats, along with three held by Democrat-aligned independents, including Sinema. Republicans only have to defend 11 in the 2024 cycle.

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