hiral wins

Hiral Tipirneni won the Arizona primary election Aug. 4, besting Anita Malik and two other Democratic candidates. (commons.wikimedia.org/Gage Skidmore photo)

Indian American physician Hiral Tipirneni won the Democratic primary race in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District Aug. 4, to take on Republican Rep. David Schweikert in November.

The four-way Democratic race featured Tipirneni, who earned name identification in 2018 by running in the 8th District. She outraised the other three Democrats on the ballot.

Tipirneni bested another Indian American candidate, tech entrepreneur Anita Malik, who had challenged the Republican incumbent in 2018. Rounding out the field were business owner Stephanie Rimmer and Karl Gentles, a public relations agency owner.

Democrats consider Schweikert vulnerable in the strongly GOP district because of ethics violations, though he did not face a primary challenge and automatically advanced to the November general election. The affluent district covers parts of North Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Fountain Hills.

With 85 of 157 precincts reporting Aug. 4 evening, according to the New York Times, Tipirneni had secured 37,702 votes or 54.9 percent; followed by Anita Malik with 25,122 votes, or 35.9 percent.

In a campaign statement emailed to India-West, Tipirneni said: “I am honored to be the nominee in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District. For nearly a decade, our district has been represented by a D.C. politician who puts the profits of his special interest corporate donors over positive change that will make life better for working families here in Arizona. Rep. Schweikert has betrayed his oath to serve our community, misused taxpayer resources for his own personal benefit, and lied about it. He’s taken hundreds of thousands from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and put their interests first, voting to eliminate protections for those with pre-existing conditions. It’s long past time for new leadership that will put people first.”

She added: “I’m not a career politician, and I’ll never take a dime from corporate PACs. As a former ER doctor, I have served my community, regardless of party. In Congress, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and work with Republicans and Democrats to bring real solutions to the problems facing Arizona families like lowering prescription drug costs and making healthcare more affordable.”

Conceding defeat, Malik said on Twitter: “Thank you to everyone on Team Anita for a hard-fought race. I’m incredibly grateful to our neighbors, hard-working volunteers and all the passionate advocates who spread our message of change and joined us to serve our community during this pandemic.

Tipirneni entered the primary with over $1 million cash on hand. As of the last report, Schweikert had only $203,000 with $94,000 in debt, according to her campaign.  

Tipirneni, noted the statement, has dedicated her career to improving health care in her community, first as an emergency room physician serving the Phoenix area. After losing her mother and nephew to cancer, she directed her passion and problem-solving skills to evaluating and directing funding for cutting-edge cancer research. She led teams of researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates in the fight to treat and cure breast cancer, prostate cancer, and childhood leukemia. She’s a proven problem-solver who’s committed to the health and long term well-being of her communities, it said.

The physician was 3 years old when her family immigrated from India to this country to pursue the American dream. After their medical residencies, she and her husband, Dr. Kishore Tipirneni, chose to build their life in the Valley, where they have lived for over 23 years and raised their three children.

Her campaign has been added to the DCCC’s Red to Blue list and endorsed by Emily’s List, End Citizens United, League of Conservation Voters, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, 314 Action, ASPIRE PAC, Brady Campaign to end Gun Violence, HRC, Arizona Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona Congressman Tom O’Halleran, nine members of the Arizona legislature, among others.

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