Arizona candidate for Congress Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, secured some important endorsements from elected leaders in the state Sept. 5.
Tipirneni, is running from District 6, which is also fielding another Indian-American Democrat, Anita Malik, going into the late party primary scheduled for Aug. 4, 2020.
Similarly, in District 8, from which Tipirneni ran in 2018, she made a good showing against Republican candidate Debbie Lesko, earning 44.5 percent of the vote against Republican favorite Debbie Lesko’s 55.5 percent.
Malik made a good showing against incumbent David Schweikert, a Republican, in the 2018 elections, securing 44.9 percent of the vote in District 6, an urban district around Phoenix, AZ.
On Sept. 5, Tipirneni announced she had earned the endorsement of legislative leaders across the state of Arizona and these new endorsements include: Democratic Leader of the Arizona House of Representatives Charlene Fernandez; Assistant Democratic Leader Randy Friese; Senate Democratic Whip Jamescita Peshlakai; State Senators Lela Alston, Martín Quezada, Rebecca Rios, and Victoria Steele; State Representatives Rich Andrade, Isela Blanc, and Robert Meza.
“I am so proud to support Hiral’s campaign,” Fernandez is quoted saying in the press release, adding, “She has proven she is a true leader who can bring people together around the common sense solutions Arizona desperately needs. I have no doubt that Hiral has what it takes to defeat Congressman Schweikert, and I look forward to working with her to make it happen.”
Other endorsers made similar comments.
Tipirneni’s fundraising prowess is evident compared to the other two candidates in the Democratic primary. Her total individual contributions were way ahead for the period Jan. 1-June 30, 2019 — at $411,021.26. So were her operating expenditures at $91,838.06, a sure sign she was cruising ahead of the other two candidates in the primary.
Currently, total individual contributions to Malik’s campaign for the period Jan. 1, to June 30 2019, equaled $58,719, according to Federal Election Commission records. Her operatin expenditures in the same period equalled $15,773.90.
Stephanie Rimmer, the 3rd Democrat vying for party nomination, raised $30,780 in individual contributions and had taken loans totalling $100,000. Rimmer’s operating expenditures equalled $42,794.06 for the same period.
Tipirneni’s campaign has previously earned the endorsements of AZ-02 Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, AZ-01 Congressman Tom O’Halleran, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union 104, Communication Workers of America Arizona State Council, American Federation of Teachers Arizona, and Amalgamated Transit Local Union 1433.
Malik, former COO of a technology company, who stepped down to fight Schweikert in 2018, won a three-way Democratic primary before those general elections. She has grown up and attended public schools in District 6, where her parents moved when she was 7. Malik was born in Kansas City, Missouri.
Her current endorsements were not listed on her campaign website. However, during Malik’s 2018 race against Shweikert, she was endorsed by Arizona State AFL-CIO, Asian American Action Fund, End Citizens United, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Indian-American Impact Fund, Peace Action, and Stonewall Democrats of Arizona, according to Votesmart.org.
Interestingly, Schweikert, who Tipirneni hopes to defeat if she wins the Democratic primary, showed zero individial contributions in FEC records. Rather, he received transfers from other authorized committees to a total of $133,098.62. And his “Friends of David Schweikert” PAC, showed total itemized and un-itemized individual contributions of $218,072.33, plus $8,038 respectively, still behind Tipirneni. And Schweikert’s PAC’s operating expenditures are at $359,372.55.
“This is a very exciting time when we have so many Indian-Americans, and so many women, running,” said Aruna Miller, executive director of the Indian-American Impact Fund. “Yes, two (Indian-Americans) running from one district is sad, and you can only pick one,” Miller conceded, “But for Indian-Americans, if one of them wins, we win, and change a Red district to Blue,” she added.