Home>Congress>Shocker: Debbie Lesko Won’t Run in ’24

Debbie Lesko. (Photo: US House of Representatives)

Shocker: Debbie Lesko Won’t Run in ’24

Hamadeh among names mentioned for ruby red CD8 seat

By Ken Kurson, October 17, 2023 4:40 pm

In an announcement that sent shockwaves through the suburbs north of Phoenix, 8th District Republican Congresswoman Debbie Lesko has announced that she will not be running for re-election this November.

“It has been a great honor to serve the people of Arizona’s 8th Congressional District in Congress,” she wrote in a release issued early Tuesday afternoon. “However, I have decided not to run for reelection in 2024. I want to spend more time with my husband, my 94-year-old mother, my three children, and my five grandchildren.”

The 8th CD is as solid a Republican district as exists. In 2020, her first election after winning a special, she beat Michael Muscato 60-40. In 2022, Lesko defeated write-in Democrat Jeremy Spreitzer 97-3. Spreitzer has already announced his intention to compete for the seat again, but the real action will now take shape on the Republican side, where a blood-red open seat will surely set off a frenzy for the primary, which will be held August 6, 2024.

One name already being bandied about is Abraham Hamadeh, whose 2022 race for Attorney General fell short by a hair-thin margin that is still being reasonably litigated to this day. The race left him with a lot of name ID and good will among Arizona GOPers.

The Globe has learned from someone close to the Hamadeh camp that “Abe has been fielding a lot of calls from supporters who are encouraging him to run for Congress.”

The Globe reached Ric Grenell, former member of President Trump’s cabinet and the US ambassador to Germany. He told the Globe, “I have encouraged Abe Hamadeh to run for this seat. He is the warrior we need in Congress.”

Another candidate rumored to be taking a look is Blake Masters, but his poor performance in 2022’s US Senate campaign has some wondering about the viability of a Masters candidacy. In a year where Hamadeh lost by 280 votes and Lake lost by less than 1%, Masters fell short to incumbent Mark Kelly by 5%.

Lesko rose up through the ranks in Arizona, serving in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2008 to 2014 and then winning a State Senate seat in that year. She went to Washington after winning the special election to replace Rep. Trent Franks, who was pushed out amid sexual harassment allegations. She has been a reliable voter in the Trump wing of the party

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