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GOP winner of Arizona primary expected to win US House seat

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Posted at 11:14 AM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 13:14:18-05

The Republican winner of a special primary election to replace a disgraced Arizona congressman is the immediate favorite to win the U.S. House seat.

Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko handily beat 11 other Republicans in Tuesday's primary. One of her two closest challengers was former state Sen. Steve Montenegro, who was embroiled in a sexting scandal in the days before the election. Lesko also faced allegations of campaign finance irregularities.

Lesko will face Democratic nominee Hiral Tipirneni in an April 24 special election. The district is heavily Republican.

Whoever wins will replace former Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned after he acknowledged discussing surrogacy with two female staffers.

Early returns showed Lesko had 36 percent of the vote while Montenegro and former state House member Phil Lovas had only 24 percent.