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Democrats get behind Indian American Hiral Tipirneni for Arizona Cong seat

Tipirneni and Lesko are pitted in a tough fight in the April 24 special election, after the resignation of Republican Trent Franks following reports of sexual misconduct

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Hiral Tipirneni, Arizona, Democratic, Congress
Hiral Tipirneni campaigning for Arizona Congress seat | Photo: @HiralforCongress (Twitter)

Sensing victory, the has rallied behind Indian American candidate in ahead of a special later this month.

"Hiral's running in a district that Democrats haven't contested since 2012. And winning this race would significantly boost our chances of flipping the House in November," the said, throwing its weight behind the Indian American, who is giving a tough fight to her Republican opponent for the 8th Congressional District of

Tipirneni and Lesko are pitted in a tough fight in the April 24 special election, necessitated after the resignation of Republican following reports of sexual misconduct. Interestingly the seat was represented for three terms by Democrat Gabrielle Gifford, who resigned in 2012, after surviving an assassination attempt. However there were no Democratic candidates running in the last three elections.

Franks had represented the seat since 2013. He resigned on December 8, thus necessitating a special election.

"Hiral's strong campaign is clearly making Republicans nervous. has already hosted a for her opponent, and is headlining another," the party said.

The opposing has poured in USD 322,419 into Lesko's political campaign. This special election has suddenly caught national attention and is considered a litmus test for the ruling Republicans.

Tipirneni's parents came to the US from when she was three years old. A bout of as a child inspired her to become a doctor specialising in emergency medicine, and she's a for affordable health care coverage for all, her party said.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who is the first ever Indian American women to be elected to the US House of Representatives, also came out in support of Tipirneni.

"Pramila is supporting our incredible Democratic nominee, Dr Hiral Tipirneni, because we need to elect more women to across the country and take back the house," Jayapal's team said in a fund raising email.

"Dr Tipirneni is an emergency room physician and research advocate. She's hardworking and compassionate with a common-sense approach to the issues we care about," it said.

If she wins, it would mean the first woman elected to the House this year, the second Indian American woman ever elected to Congress, another Republican district won by a Democrat and a massive defeat for Donald Trump's agenda, it said.

The also sent a last minute fundraising email for Tipirneni.

Tipirneni's father was a in Ohio, where she and her brother were raised in a working-class suburb of Her mother is a

Tipirneni exuded confidence in winning the seat.

"Frankly, we're getting a lot of folks who are Republicans and just feeling a little frustrated or maybe disenfranchised and just really want to talk about the issues and possible solutions, which is what my campaign has really been all about," the Indian American said.

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 15:52 IST