The Republican National Committee (RNC) has poured nearly $300,000 into an Arizona congressional race in a district considered to be safely held by Republicans, the latest sign of GOP worry ahead of the November midterms.
The Washington Post reported Federal Election Commission filings that show the RNC has put $281,250 into door-to-door canvassing efforts in Arizona’s 8th District, which was most recently held by former GOP Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE. The district has not elected a Democrat since being drawn in 2011.
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Democratic nominee Hiral Tipirneni’s spokesman responded to the Post on Friday by saying the RNC investment was a sign of GOP fears over a lack of “enthusiasm” for Republican Debbie Lesko’s campaign.
“Spending more than a quarter-million D.C. dollars for door-to-door outreach is a bit surprising,” Tipirneni’s spokesman, Jason Kimbrough, told the Post. “It just shows how worried they must be about enthusiasm for their ethically challenged nominee. Dr. Tipirneni’s a strong candidate, especially when compared to career politician Debbie Lesko, who’s obviously in trouble.”
Arizona’s 8th Congressional District voted for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE by a margin of 21 points. In 2016, former Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) won his seat over Green Party candidate Mark Salazar by a 37-point margin.
Lesko currently leads Tipirneni by about 14 points, according to internal polling released by Tipirneni’s campaign.
Despite this, Tipirneni began the campaign with slightly more cash on hand than Lesko, the Post reported, with the election to replace Franks to be held in April.
Franks resigned in December over claims from an employee that he urged her to become a surrogate mother for his child.