hiral loses

Arizona physician Hiral Tipirneni, a Democrat challenging Republican incumbent David Schweikert, lost her bid for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House seat Nov. 7. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Arizona physician Hiral Tipirneni, a Democrat challenging Republican incumbent David Schweikert, lost her bid for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House seat Nov. 7 even as her state, long a GOP stronghold, flipped blue for the first time in 24 years.

The close race, which had been considered a toss-up by many polls and ran neck-in-neck after polls closed Nov. 3 evening, finished four days later as the Associated Press called the race for Schweikert, who has held his seat since 2013. ABC 15 in Arizona reported this was the first time Schweikert has faced a significant challenger. The Republican won his re-election bid with 215,060 votes, or 52 percent of the vote. Tipirneni amassed 197,433 votes, almost 48 percent.

The rising star among Indian American politicians received many significant endorsements, including from President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who lauded Tipirneni’s advocacy for quality, affordable health care and funding for cancer research. Tipirneni was also endorsed by the IMPACT Fund, the AAPI Victory Fund, and the NewDem Action Fund, among other significant endorsements.

This is Tipirneni’s second bid for Congress: she lost in 2018 to Republican Debbie Lesko in neighboring CD 8.

In a Nov. 7 press statement, Tipirneni said she had called Schweikert to concede. “From the very beginning, this race was about fighting for the issues that impact Arizona families. It was never about partisanship. It was about rooting out corruption and making the tax code more fair for middle-class Arizona families, small businesses, and retirees.”

Tipirneni cited her front-line experience in health care as the cornerstone of her campaign. “I ran for Congress with one ultimate goal in mind: to ensure that every single American has access to quality, affordable health care.”

“I still believe we need more scientists and doctors at the table. The only way we’ll get out of this public health crisis and begin to build back our economy is if we listen to experts, follow the facts, and trust the science,” she said, adding: “We need to fix our broken health care system and protect coverage for the one-in-two Americans with a pre-existing condition, including the nearly ten million, and growing, Americans who have been diagnosed with coronavirus.”

Tipirneni also spoke about the immediate need to address climate change. “Without swift and decisive action driven by data, the future of this planet and our children’s lives on it are uncertain,” she said.

“I’m proud to have joined the countless other women leaders nationwide who stepped up and demanded better. We need more women in positions of power,” said Tipirneni. “We need more women in politics. Their empathetic voices, their ability to problem-solve, and their diversity of backgrounds and experiences will change this country for the better. Run and run hard – this country needs you.”

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