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U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko won't seek reelection in Arizona next year

By Ben Giles
Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2023 - 3:48pm
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2023 - 2:01pm

Debbie Lesko
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko speaking with attendees at an event in Peoria, Arizona, in March 2022.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko announced Tuesday that she will not run for office next year.

The Arizona Republican has decided to spend more time with family.

In a statement, Lesko, 64, said traveling every month to Washington, D.C., has been difficult and that “D.C. is broken.”

She said her office will continue to serve her constituents until her term officially ends in January 2025.

Lesko represents Arizona's 8th Congressional District. An ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump, Lesko received an endorsement from him during her last election. However, she had no serious challengers in the GOP primary.

Her West Valley district heavily favors Republican voters — Lesko ran unopposed in the General Election in 2022.

A former school board member and state lawmaker, Lesko won a House seat in a special election in 2018.

In 2020, the Arizona Republic reported Lesko had legal and financial problems in her past. The newspaper found several bankruptcies, lawsuits over unpaid bills and an arrest warrant in the 1980s and '90s.

Lesko said in response that her first husband was abusive and a “con man.” She even created a website linking details of her ex-husband's criminal past and a video of her daughter recounting abuse she saw and suffered in childhood.

Less than three hours after Lesko dropped out of the race, Abe Hamadeh announced he’s jumping in.

Hamadeh narrowly lost a statewide race for attorney general in 2022.

He continues to challenge that loss in court, despite numerous legal failures and sanctions for misrepresenting his case to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Hamadeh could be the first of many Republicans attempting to replace Lesko.