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25 April 2018, 02:24 | Conrad Doyle
Arizona special election: Debbie Lesko holds on to seat for Republicans
Republicans held onto a deeply conservative Arizonacongressional seat on Tuesday night in a special election race to replace an incumbent lawmaker who resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations. Republican political consultant Chuck Coughlin called the margin "not good" for national Republicans looking at their chances in November.
"They'll be analyzing", McSally said, referring to pundits.
Candidates in other Arizona races were watching this result. "And it would be very hard to buck that trend if you're in swing districts, much less close districts, if you can't change that narrative between now and November".
Trump also tweeted in support of Lesko on Tuesday, saying she was "strong on border, immigration and crime" and "great on the military".
"I didn't mean a formal investigation by government or something like that", she said in an interview with The New York Times last month. "Twenty five years ago, I left an abusive husband and I sure as heck never would have dreamed in a million years that I would be running for Congress and be a congresswoman".
"One of the big reasons I made a decision to run is I'm so frustrated by the lack of forward progress, divisiveness and standing exclusively on a partisan [ground]", Tipirneni told Fox News.
The district, located in the western suburbs of Phoenix, is known for its Sun City retirement community and for permitting golf carts to drive on the streets. But the Democrat Tipirneni, has been doing well in the polls.
Compared with the race earlier this year that saw Democrat Conor Lamb's unlikely win in suburban Pittsburgh, spending in the Arizona district was relatively minimal and Trump kept his distance. "This is really quite overwhelming", Lesko said during her election night speech. She's pushed a plan to allow some people to buy into Medicare.
National Democratic groups didn't commit money to ads in the race, but in recent weeks, some progressive groups spent to back Tipirneni, and she ran non-stop TV ads in the last week of the election.
In the February 27 primary, two out of every three ballots were cast for a Republican. The seat opened up with the resignation of disgraced Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ). At the time, Politico reported Franks offered former aides millions to birth his child, and the AP reported he discussed surrogacy with his former staffers.
Lesko and Tipirneni are likely to headed for a face off in the November Congressional elections. In fact, some latest polls suggests, that Tipirneni is a point ahead of Lesko in the April 24 special elections for the Arizona eighth Congressional District. But Democrats were already casting a single-digit margin as a big victory for them in a part of the state where they haven't even tried to compete for decades.
"I don't like the president and felt it was time to take a stand", said Nikole Allen, a 45-year-old medical assistant from NY now living in Glendale.
Even with the numbers against her, Republicans spent heavy and hard in this contest to secure the win.
Lance Ostrander, a registered Democrat who works for Maricopa County and lives in Peoria, said he'd be happy if Tipirneni wins.
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