HomeCitizenshipIndian American doctor wins Arizona Democratic primary to challenge controversial incumbent

Indian American doctor wins Arizona Democratic primary to challenge controversial incumbent

Indian American physician Hiral Tipirneni won the Democratic primary in Arizona’s 6th district on Tuesday, The Hill reported, leading a race of four candidates.

In November, she will challenge incumbent Rep. David Schweikert, (R-AZ) who has held the position since 2010. In this state’s “most compelling House race” of the year, Tipirneni emerges as one of the most well-funded Democratic challengers taking on one of the “worst-funded incumbents,” according to AZCentral.

Early last month, Tipirneni announced that her campaign raised a record-breaking $665,000 between April and June, News India Times reported. It brings her total to over $2.4 million contributions at the time the article was published, which was early July.

Tipirneni claimed that the amount was all the most significant as her campaign does not accept PAC donations and 90% of her contributions were less than $100.

Schweikert’s campaign to retain his House seat, however, is off to a rough start. At the end of July, Schweikert admitted to 11 spending violations which he attributed to the mistakes of a former staff, The Washington Post reports. His office has been under investigation since 2018.

On July 29, the House Committee of Ethics published a report stating that its investigative subcommittee had unanimously concluded there was “substantial reason to believe” the incumbent had broken Americans laws and had “not act in a manner that reflected creditably on the House.”

These charges include “misuse of his Members’ Representational Allowance for unofficial purposes” and pressuring office staff to work for his reelection campaign, according to The Washington Post. The report also revealed Schweikert and the subcommittee agreed on a $50,000 fine.

Tipirneni has anchored her campaign in her experience as a healthcare provider, an apt emphasis during a worldwide pandemic. The doctor has served as an emergency room physician and cancer research advocate, her campaign website states.

Furthermore, she cites her experience as a first-generation Indian immigrant and loss of close family members to cancer as a motivation for serving in the healthcare industry and running for Congress.

Her platforms expanding Medicare, employment opportunities, retirement security and opportunities in public schools.

I believe in solving problems and improving lives, which is all about people, not partisanship,” her campaign website states. “That’s what I did in the emergency room, and I’m running for Congress to do the same.”

Schweikert still remains confident in winning the reelection in November, as he told KTAR News on Wednesday that the district leans more conservative than it seems.

“The independents in the district perform much more conservative and you just do the basic math,” Schweikert said. “Hope and aspiration isn’t a campaign plan.”

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