Indian American Hiral Tipirneni loses a close race in Arizona special election

Hiral Tipirneni & Debbie Lesko

ARIZONA(TIP): Indian American Tipirneni on April 24threceived more than 82,300 votes (47.4 percent), roughly 9,000 fewer than Lesko, who received nearly 91,400 (52.6 percent) .The Arizona Secretary of State’s websitereports that Democrat Hiral Tipirneni came within six percentage points of her Republican rival Debbie Lesko in special election to Arizona’s 8th Congressional District.

The special election was warranted because Rep. Trent Franks, who represented the district for several terms, resigned in December after he was embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal.

Tipirneni wrote on twitter, “whatever happens tonight or tomorrow, we’re not giving up. Regardless of the outcome, we’re taking this to November.”

That she came within 6 percentage point in a district that was carried by President Trump with more than 21 percentage points in the last presidential election should give Tipirneni a lot of momentum if she wins the Democratic Party nomination again.

She did it without much of a support from the House Democratic campaign arm. On the other hand, Lesko received help from the GOP House campaign committee to the tune of $1 million. Trump also recorded robo calls urging voters to back Lesko.

The narrow margin of Lesko’s victory leaves Republicans with much to ponder as they prepare for a tough midterm election in November.

Tipirneni, a former emergency room physician, won her party’s nomination after defeating Brianna Westbrook in the primary.

Tipirneni’s campaign had focused on issues such as affordable healthcare, strengthening the economy, retirement security, quality education, and government accountability.

Tipirneni, born in India, came to the United States with her family at the age of three. According to her campaign website, she earned her medical degree through an accelerated, competitive program at Northeast Ohio Medical University. She chose to pursue emergency medicine because of the wide variety of challenges it presented, and it allowed her to be the first point of contact for patients.


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