President Donald Trump on Wednesday congratulated Republican congressional candidate Debbie Lesko for her special election victory in Arizona on Tuesday night.
Trump said Lesko will do a "great job" and called out the press for being "silent" about her victory.
"Congratulations to Republican Debbie Lesko on her big win in the Special Election for Arizona House seat. Debbie will do a Great Job! Press is so silent," Trump tweeted.
Congratulations to Republican Debbie Lesko on her big win in the Special Election for Arizona House seat. Debbie will do a Great Job! Press is so silent.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2018
Lesko won the House special election with 53 percent of the vote, holding off a Democratic challenge from Hiral Tipirneni, who received 47 percent of the vote. In reporting the election results, the media widely highlighted that the race was closer than expected because Trump won the district by 21 points during the 2016 presidential election, Politico reported.
Former Rep. Trent Franks triggered the 8th Congressional District special election in 2017 when he resigned amidst allegations of sexual impropriety, and the GOP remained in control of the race to retain his seat from the get-go. National Republican groups poured in more than $1 million into the district to boost Lesko and prevent another special election from getting out of hand.
The district’s Republican tilt showed through as over 150,000 residents voted early in the weeks leading up to the special election. Nearly half of those early voters were registered Republicans, according to Arizona’s secretary of state office, while just over one-quarter were registered Democrats.
GOP outside groups — including the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan — dumped resources on the district to boost early turnout and cement the party’s latent advantage in the district.