Hiral Tipirneni and Debbie Lesko have won the nominations for their respective parties to replace an Arizona congressman who stepped down while facing allegations of sexual misconduct.
Lesko pulled out a strong victory Tuesday evening over 11 other GOP candidates and becomes the immediate front-runner in the April 24 general election. Lesko had 36 percent of the vote over former state Sen. Steve Montenegro with 24 percent.
"This was a team effort, and I am so thankful, and I am so blessed," Lesko told ABC15.
Tipirneni is an emergency-room physician who got support from former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords. She beat Brianna Westbrook, who became involved in politics several years ago as a transgender woman who argued for a Phoenix policy that would protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination.
"The celebration is tonight the hard work starts again tomorrow, and we are going full steam ahead," Tipirneni told ABC15.
Arizona Democratic Party Chair Felecia Rotellini released the following statement:
“Congratulations to Dr. Hiral Tipirneni on a hard fought primary victory. She ran an incredible campaign focused on improving the lives of Arizonans in the Eighth Congressional District by offering real solutions for them. This is in direct contrast to the chaos Arizonans have seen on their television screens by the Arizona Republican Party.
The Eighth Congressional District deserves a representative that work to get things done for them - like safeguarding Social Security and Arizona's AHCCCS while making sure their hard-earned tax dollars don't go to waste in Washington. Dr. Hiral Tipirneni will do exactly that.”