Arizona’s 8th congressional district seat is opening up as current Rep. Debbie Lesko announced she will not run again in 2024. The article lists potential Republican candidates to watch in the race for the seat, including House Speaker Ben Toma, State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, Peoria Mayor Jason Beck, Blake Masters, Phil Lovas, former Gov. Jan Brewer, and Abe Hamadeh, who has already joined the race. Other potential contenders from the state legislature and law enforcement are also mentioned.
Tuesday’s Announcement: U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko Will Not Run for Arizona’s 8th District Again
Following Rep. Debbie Lesko’s retirement announcement on Tuesday, several ambitious Republicans are expected to vie for her seat. Congressional seats rarely open up, and in a predominantly Republican district, the primary is the key hurdle.
However, Kari Lake, currently running for the U.S. Senate and nicknamed the state’s “real governor,” has confirmed she won’t be contesting for this seat. Let’s look at some potential Republican contenders:
Potential Candidates for Arizona’s 8th District
House Speaker Ben Toma, one of the state’s most influential Republicans, could be a strong contender. Toma, a Romanian immigrant, has played a significant role in cutting income taxes and expanding the state’s school voucher program. State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, a business-oriented conservative, holds promise given her prior representation of the area and her recent statewide victory.
Peoria Mayor Jason Beck, founder and CEO of Tyr Tactical, is another name to watch, though he just assumed mayoral duties this year. Blake Masters, who had hinted at a Senate run before Lake’s entry, might consider this seat despite residing in Tucson. Phil Lovas, a former legislator appointed to a U.S. Small Business Administration position by Trump, could be a dark horse in the race.
Other notable names include ex-Gov. Jan Brewer, who has strong name recognition, and Abe Hamadeh, who entered the race shortly after Lesko’s announcement. His near win in the last attorney general race and potential endorsement from Lake make him a strong contender.
Members of Arizona’s Freedom Caucus including Anthony Kern, Janae Shamp, Steve Montenegro, and Shawnna Bolick are also worth keeping an eye on. Retired U.S. Marshal David Gonzales, although unlikely to run, would be a strong candidate given his respected 20-year tenure as Arizona’s U.S. Marshal.
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