U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema lost the endorsement of the Arizona State Troopers Association this week, after some members complained they did not have the opportunity to give their input on the matter, the Arizona Republic reported.
U.S. Rep. Sinema, a Democrat, is competing against Republican U.S. Rep. Martha McSally in a heated and close race for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who is retiring.
The association, which represents the Arizona Department of Public Safety employees and retirees, has endorsed Sinema in the past three federal elections, according to the report.
Some association members complained to the Arizona Republic that the executive board endorsed Sinema without their input, the report states. Following the complaints, the association sent out a poll asking members if they want to endorse Sinema.
An email poll sent Monday to members indicated that they preferred to stay neutral, according to the news outlet.
"All members are encouraged to vote for the candidate they personally support," the email stated, according to the report. "AZTroopers will refrain from any political statements concerning the race until the conclusion of the election."
Sinema used the endorsement in a recent ad about her record on law enforcement and border issues. Although Sinema touted the endorsement, the ad is no longer running.
How did Sinema respond?
In a statement, the Sinema campaign said it respects the association's decision to withdraw the endorsement.
"We respect the association's decision to remain neutral given the divisive tone of the race and appreciate their support for Kyrsten's past three elections, as well as continued support from members and law enforcement officers across the state," Sinema spokeswoman Helen Hare told the news outlet in an email.
Dave McDowell, an association member and retired lieutenant, confirmed that members were not informed about the board’s decision to endorse Sinema.
“That displeased a number of members, including myself,” McDowell said.
McDowell indicated he supports McSally. But he also said he does not believe the association should make any political endorsements.
"The Troopers have spoken," McSally campaign spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair reportedly said in a text message.