GOP Retains US House Seat in Arizona

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Republican Debbie Lesko is projected to win Arizona's nationally watched special election, fending off a strong challenge from Democrats who have been over-performing in deep-red seats.

Tuesday night, former state Sen. Ms. Tipirneni was the first Democrat to contest the district, which covers suburbs north and west of Phoenix, since 2012. "We really can't blame anything".

Even though Republicans avoided another stinging loss in a special election after losing a US Senate race in December in Alabama and Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District in March, the party's top operatives in Arizona and across the country anxious that the narrow margin was a signal of losses to come.

Even though Tipirneni was unsuccessful, she has said she will run again in November.

The Republican National Committee, National Republican Campaign Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund have collectively spent almost $1m to defend the reliably conservative seat. Arizona's 8th Congressional District has all the hallmarks of a place Republicans should easily win and there are around 78,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats in the area. She had a six percentage vote lead over Tipirneni, 53 percent to 47 percent.

Democratic groups have spent far less on the Arizona race.

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In the days leading up to the election, members of the state's Democratic party told ThinkProgress that they considered her campaign as both a success as well a good sign for the upcoming midterms, regardless of the outcome.

An Indian-American physician has mounted a serious challenge against a Republican candidate in a Congressional district in the U.S. state of Arizona, hoping to pull off an upset victory in a reliably Republican bastion which analysts say could boost anti-Trump movement.

Lesko was endorsed by the House Freedom Caucus, though not every candidate endorsed by the hard-line conservative group joins its ranks. They touted the fact that Tipirneni kept it close in a district where Democrats didn't even put up a candidate in 2014 and 2016, and they argued the slim margin shows their message is resonating in the era of Trump. Add Republican Party as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Republican Party news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said about 19,000 voters had turned out to the 55 voting locations on Tuesday and more than 155,000 people participated in early voting.

Official results were yet to be declared, but several local media outlets had projected Lesko as the victor. Groups including the Republican National Committee; the National Republican Congressional Committee; and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership, spent a combined more than $1 million for the GOP nominee. The Democratic National Committee, like the RNC, sent in staff.

Despite those promising numbers, Lesko was taking no chances, telling her supporters on Saturday that "we are in the fight of our lives". Trump made a last-minute appeal on Tuesday, urging voters to support Lesko, who he was "Strong on Border, Immigration and Crime".