In her Glendale office filled with dedicated staff and volunteers, Dr. Hiral Tipirneni sat down with her campaign advisor Jason Kimbrough to convey how she would win in the November elections over Debbie Lesko and what she will do in her first months as the new House Representative in District Eight.
This will be the second race between these two candidates in seven months. Tipirneni is an emergency room physician, a cancer research advocate and Democratic rising star. In April, she gave a voice to all the Democrats, independents, and disaffected Republicans yearning for someone to campaign for them (the previous office holder Trent Franks had run virtually unopposed in the last three election cycles) and shocked the political establishment by coming within five points of defeating Debbie Lesko.
Her performance in a district that Donald Trump won by 21 points catapulted Dr. Tipirneni to political stardom and further reinforced the impression that a Blue Wave is coming this November.
Campaigning to Victory this November
When campaigning in the special election last spring, Dr. Tipirneni harnessed the Democratic enthusiasm and “made inroads among Republicans and independents outperforming how Secretary Clinton did in virtually every precinct.”
She and her team want to build on that result from last spring and carry it over to victory this November. They feel that name recognition is no longer an issue and they can concentrate more on working to turn out the voters whom they were not able to reach in the short time window last April.
Knowing that their message is resonating with the voters, they have an intensive campaign to reach out to everyone via coffees, town hall meetings, door to door canvassing, and social media. They are “talking with people on the issues, working to persuade them.” With their expanded team, they will also intensify their efforts with regards to reaching voters before they send in their early ballots.
Healthcare, education and retirement security
Dr. Tipirneni is running on the same issues as she did in the special election: health care, education, and retirement security.
With Sun City West in her district, the candidate knows that health care and retirement security are especially important concerns to the residents there. Commenting that, “health care security affects everyone and pre-existing conditions are a huge piece affecting millions of people (two million in Arizona),” she adds that we “need to stop playing partisan politics with ACA (the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.) There should be no junk plans and we need to protect pre-existing conditions. There should be no caps on healthcare plans. We need to make sure kids can stay on their parents’ health care until they are 26. Cost sharing reductions should be maintained and we need to make sure there is no toying with risk adjustment subsidies and it was a crime to remove the individual mandate because it raised costs for everyone else in the system.”
Finally, she believes that is time to “expand Medicare as a public option for people under 65,” saying it is better for competition and more sense to do Medicare because it is more efficient for implementation.”
On education, she wants a fully funded high-quality public school system and is opposed to privatization voucher schemes championed by Secretary of Education DeVos.
Protecting earned benefits
On retirement security, she relayed that “we should be protecting the earned benefits that so many of our neighbors depend upon for retirement security, and for which they’ve paid into through a lifetime of hard work. It’s particularly despicable to hear Washington may slash these programs to pay for tax cuts that almost entirely went to the billionaire-class and enormous corporations.”
Dr. Tipirneni says that the people she has talked to realize that her opponent is against all the programs the Democratic nominee is for, instead embracing tax cuts mostly targeted for the wealthy which leads to retirement insecurity with potential cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to make up the difference. Her opponent, Ms. Lesko, a disciple of the conservative group ALEC, also favors school privatization and is not a committed supporter of veterans. When asked if she worries that her opponent or her allies would accuse her of espousing Socialist ideas, she dismisses the assertion, saying that her “positions are very strong” and she has “proposed real solutions (borrowed from all around the political spectrum) as opposed to empty rhetoric.”
Two debates have been scheduled. One will be on PBS “Arizona Horizon” on October 19 and another will be hosted by the Sun City West Homeowners Association will be held on October 25. Dr. Tipirneni and her team are receptive to engaging in more debates but her opponent, like most in her party, is reluctant to commit to them.
Her first actions after she is elected
If elected in November, Dr. Tipirneni would pursue the following policies as a Congressional Representative. They are:
- “Stabilize the Affordable Care Act and fix the flaws.”
- “Make sure there are no cuts to earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.”
- “We should be leading in clean energy that would create jobs and help develop and modernize infrastructure and environmental protection. We use less than 6 % in solar and that is pitiful. We can do so much better.”
- “Making sure we do everything we can to remove dark money from politics.”
She also feels that while the senior leaders in the Democratic Party have done a lot for the party and the country, that it is time for “new leadership on both sides of the aisle” because we “are ready for a change.”
She also said that she would follow the recommendations of Special Counsel Mueller on whether to impeach Trump.
Dr. Tipirneni is “thrilled and honored” to be her party’s nominee in Congressional District Eight. Commenting that she is excited to have the ability to bring a new voice and new leadership to the district because “it has had no voice in such a long time. The district has woken up and I am thrilled to fight to be that voice.” She is grateful for the support from the Democratic National Committee but more so to her grassroots supporters, stating that their “support helped propel us to be heard and noticed.”
Dr. Tipirneni is running a well-coordinated campaign on a common sense forward direction program that the voters in her district should be receptive to. She nearly won in April and is better positioned to emerge victorious this November. Please visit her website and Facebook page (links below) for more information on her and her program. Voters in Congressional District Eight should strongly consider supporting her this fall.