Indian-American Democratic candidate endorsed by well-known Republican in Arizona

Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, unopposed in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary from Arizona, with husband Kishore, and children. (Photo: Facebook)

Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress, from Arizona’s District 8, was endorsed Oct. 4, by the former Attorney General of Arizona, a Republican.

In a tweet, Tipirneni said, “Incredibly honored & humbled to be endorsed by Grant Woods, AZ’s former AG, for #AZ08! Its bipartisan spirit, his history of integrity, keeping country first, & putting people before politics are things all of us seeking or serving in public office should uphold.”

Woods, who served as chief of staff to late Arizona Sen. John McCain, appeared with Tipirneni at an Oct. 2 event in Surprise, AZ, KTAR-FM reported.  “She’s smart, independent, articulate and understands the complexities of important issues. In other words, she is just what our country needs in Congress,” Woods, who according to KTAR, is contemplating a switch in parties, is quoted saying by the news channel.

A resident of the Phoenix area for more than 20 years as an emergency room physician, cancer research advocate and, most recently, on the board of directors of the Maricopa Health Foundation, Tipirneni came to the U.S. when she was three years old. She was raised in Ohio. During her residency in Michigan she met and married Dr. Kishore Tipirneni and they moved to Arizona.

“After losing her mother and nephew to cancer, Hiral directed her passion and problem-solving skills to evaluating and directing funding for cutting-edge cancer research. She now leads teams of researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates in the fight to treat and cure breast cancer, prostate cancer, and childhood leukemia,” Tipirneni’s website says.

In April, the Indian-American lost by a narrow margin in the special election that put a Republican Debbie Lesko in office to replace former Congressman Trent Franks.

Despite being defeated, the small margin of 6 percent prompted Democratic Party heavy-weights to rally behind Tipirneni, who they believe might be able to turn a Red district Blue. At that time, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, called the defeat a “victory” USA Today reported. Hoyer told USA Today, “We didn’t get the golden ring, but we pushed them in a district where they should have won by 20 points to winning by 75 percent less and they spent a lot of resources.” And House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was “thrilled” the news report said.

But The Economist in an April 19 analysis preceding the April 24 special election, gave Tipirneni little chance of swinging District 8 because of the sheer math. In District 8, there are 80,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, noted The Economist. But Tipirneni narrowing the gap significantly has brought national attention, and support from the Democratic National Committee.

The Indian-American Impact Fund which endorses candidates from the community, came behind Tipirneni early on in March.





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