ARIZONA 08 (R -- VACANT) | AZ-8

Local Dems See Blue Wave Hitting Arizona

The special election could be a test case for the rest of the state.

March 6, 2018, 10:34 a.m.

The seat of former Rep. Trent Franks (R), “who resigned over accusations of sexual harassment, has long looked sure to stay in GOP hands in the upcoming April special election. But local Democrats say they believe they’re in the middle of a political sea change that will turn Arizona into a midterm battleground and marquee presidential swing state.”

“It’s an admission Democrats elsewhere have been hesitant to make in a series of House special elections in deep-red districts over the last year. Hobbled and cash-strapped state parties have been little help, while national Democrats have sought to avoid embarrassment and a waste of resources when they know a long list of potentially more competitive targets are up for grabs in November. Arizona Democrats say they see the race in the 8th District” — where emergency room physician Hiral Tipirneni (D) won last Tuesday’s Democratic primary — “as a test run for their organizing efforts since President Donald Trump took office. A competitive contest in the Maricopa County suburbs west of Phoenix would confirm that a massive shift is taking place across the state.”

Tipirneni: “There’s a sleeping giant that’s awakening in our district, and people feel like they’re being talked to for the first time in a long time.”

“This year, though, Democrats in the West Valley say they want to fight. … As chairwoman” of the Arizona Democratic Party, Felecia Rotellini said “she’s launched a 15-county plan reminiscent of former Democratic National Committee Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy. The goal, she said, is for voters to hear Democrats’ message everywhere in the state.” (CNN)
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