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8th Congressional District Candidates Lesko, Tipirneni Debate In Phoenix

Debbie Lesko and Hiral Tipirneni
(Photo by Bret Jaspers - KJZZ)
Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko (left) and physician Hiral Tipirneni.

The two candidates for Congress in Arizona's 8th Congressional District debated on Friday.

In a debate on Friday, Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni talked about a wide array of issues: school vouchers, health care, tax cuts. They agreed on little.

For one thing, Lesko believes in President Donald Trump’s border wall.

“The constituents in my district want a secure border,” she said. “They want a border wall, they want more border agents. Better technology. And they want to know who’s coming across the border. They want to be safe.”

Tipirneni, meanwhile, doesn’t think a wall is a good use of money.

“I understand it makes people feel safer. It doesn’t make anybody safer,” she said. “And instead of fear mongering, let’s talk about the facts. The facts are that the drugs don’t come over [that border]. They come through the ports of entry. The legal ports of entry.

12 News hosted the debate. It was streamed online and will air Sunday at 8 a.m.

Important Special Election Dates:

 • Monday, March 26: Voter registration deadline at 11:59 p.m.
 • Wednesday March 28: Early voting ballots go out.
 • Tuesday, April 24: Voting day.

Bret Jaspers was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2017 to 2020.