Trent Franks

At the Races: Get Ready for Another Special Election
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Arizona’s Special Election Heads to Home Stretch
Both parties watching whether 8th District race will be close

Arizona Republican Debbie Lesko has benefited from significant outside spending in the 8th District special election. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko for Congress)

Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers. Next week, no matter which party wins the race to replace the Arizona Republican, a woman will be elected to succeed him.

The April 24 special election in the 8th District pits former GOP state Sen. Debbie Lesko against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a cancer research advocate and former emergency room physician. The two could also meet again in November since both intend to file to run for a full term.

Opinion: When the World of Politics Collides With the Real One
New political forces may impact midterms

The March for Our Lives rally demonstrated that millennials and young people may be a force to be reckoned with in the midterms, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It is months away from November 2018, but that doesn’t stop predictions not only for the midterms but also for President Donald Trump’s re-election chances in 2020. But while the world of politics is preoccupied with whether a blue wave is inevitable or a figment of hopeful Democrats’ imagination, events outside the bubble might shift the electorate in unpredictable ways.

My Roll Call colleague Walter Shapiro explains, with examples from recent history, how politically fraught these pre-election prognostications can be. It’s also wise to remember how life and politics can be determined by “moments,” despite what consultants who make a living steering candidates and campaigns may say. And right now, America is in the middle of moments that could challenge conventional electoral wisdom.

What to Know in Arizona's Upcoming Special Election
 

Conor Lamb Sworn In as House Member
Democrat fills Western Pennsylvania seat previously held by Republican

Rep. Conor Lamb was sworn in as a House member on Thursday afternoon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrat Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania took his oath of office as a member of the House a little after 5:30 p.m., on Thursday.

“The essential truth of our situation is, we are all in this together. We need solidarity with each other. We need universal programs and aspirations. And we need to honor the service of our fellow citizens. I will do my level best to reach out, to find common ground, and to help this great American institution deliver the results we need and deserve,” Lamb said on the floor after being sworn in. 

Tipirneni Fends Off Attacks on Medical Career Weeks Before Election Day
Criticism stems from old settlement, campaign ads

Hiral Tipirneni is pushing against opposition to her projected image as a doctor just days before an Arizona special election. (Courtesy Dr. Hiral Tipirneni for Congress)

Just 13 days before Arizona’s 8th Congressional District holds its special election to send a new member to the House, the Democratic candidate there is warding off political volleys regarding her time as an emergency room doctor.

Hiral Tipirneni, who won the Democratic nomination in February to replace disgraced former Rep. Trent Franks, is under siege by Republican operatives pushing the narrative that she has been dodgy with voters about her medical career.

Congress Returns, With Eyes Off the Floors
Committee activity will be headlined by Zuckerberg and Trump Cabinet picks

Senate GOP leadership likely did not anticipate reserving chunks of time ahead of the midterms this year for Cabinet-level posts that were already filled. Pictured above, from left: Sens. Cory Gardner, John Barrasso and Roy Blunt, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress returns Monday after two weeks away, but much of the focus will be on the action outside the House and Senate chambers.

The highlight of the week will be hearings with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg amid the ongoing fallout from the social media giant’s admission that user data was improperly shared with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

‘The Looming Tower’ Learning Curve
What the creative team behind the series learned about Washington

Hulu’s new series “The Looming Tower” shows just how D.C. infighting can have tragic consequences. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

HULU’s new mini-series “The Looming Tower” traces the rising threat of al-Qaida in the runup to the 9/11 attacks and is adapted from Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

Rating Change: Special Election in Arizona’s 8th Gets More Vulnerable for GOP
And it could become even more so between now and the April 24 general

Former Arizona state Sen. Debbie Lesko is the Republican nominee in the 8th District race to replace Rep. Trent Franks. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko/Flickr)

It might look like Republicans dodged a disaster in Arizona’s 8th District, considering former state Sen. Steve Montenegro didn’t win Tuesday’s primary. But as we’ve written before, Republicans seem to find new ways to make these special elections competitive, and Democrats everywhere are excited to send a message to President Donald Trump.

Unlike Montenegro, former state Sen. Debbie Lesko, the GOP nominee, has not received a topless photo from a staffer. But she has been accused of violating campaign finance rules by illegally funneling state funds to a federal race.

Lesko Wins GOP Primary in Arizona Race to Replace Rep. Trent Franks
Ex-state senator to face Democrat Hiral Tipirneni in April 24 special election

Former Arizona state Sen. Debbie Lesko has won the Republican primary in the 8th District special election. (Screenshot Debbie Lesko for Congress/YouTube)

Former Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko has won the special election primary in Arizona’s 8th District in the race to replace Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Lesko finished first with 36 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. Her nearest challengers, former state Rep. Phil Lovas and former state Sen. Steve Montenegro, trailed with 24 percent each. Lesko is in a strong position heading into the April 24 general election against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni in a district President Donald Trump carried by 21 points.