Former GOP Arizona governor says state’s special congressional race is not in...

Former GOP Arizona governor says state’s special congressional race is not in play

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

WASHINGTON – Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) told TMN that pundits who suggest Democrats have a chance to win the state’s April 24 special election for a congressional seat are not being realistic.

“The 8th Congressional District is one of the most safe congressional districts for Republicans in all of the country,” Brewer said on Thursday. “Nearly twice as many Republicans voted in the February Special Election as Democrats. Republicans enjoy a 17-point registration advantage over Democrats.”

Republican State Sen. Debbie Lasko and Democratic health advocate Hiral Tipirneni are running for the House seat former Rep. Trent Franks (R) vacated last December. The district includes suburbs north and west of Phoenix. It is predominantly white and includes a sizable senior population.

President Donald Trump carried the district by more than 20 points in the 2016 election.

Speculation that a Democrat might be able to win the seat has been attributed to reports that the Republican National Committee (RNC) has spent nearly $300,000 on the race as well as the belief that Democrat Conor Lamb’s upset victory in mid-March in a southwestern Pennsylvania congressional district that Trump won by the same margin might foreshadow a national trend.

But Brewer said the 8th district does not resemble the predominantly blue-collar union stronghold in which Lamb prevailed.

“The fact that we are even having this discussion suggests that pundits aren’t looking at the math in this district,” she said in an emailed response. “It is, unlike Mr. Lamb’s district in Pennsylvania, overwhelmingly Republican and much, much older. Debbie Lesko will win this race by a safe margin.”

Brewer served as Arizona governor from 2009-2015. She gained national attention in 2010 upon signing legislation that required police to question suspects about their immigration status as well as barred municipalities from choosing not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. As governor, Brewer frequently clashed with the Obama administration over immigration enforcement.

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