Indian-American wins Arizona Democratic primary to run for Congress

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Hiral Tipirneni wins primary in Arizona 6th District Aug. 4, 2020. Photo Twitter

Dr. Hiral Tipirneni gained the endorsement of the Democratic Party in the Aug. 4, 2020 primary in Arizona’s 6th District. She will be on the ballot Nov. 3, competing against a long-time Republican incumbent David Schweikert and Independent candidate Tom Lewellen.

Among the Democrats who had been vying for the party nomination was another Indian-American IT expert, Anita Malik.

Tipirneni garnered 53.6 percent of the vote and Malik secured 36.1 percent according to the unofficial results posted on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.

“I am honored to be the nominee in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District. Thank you to the voters who have put their trust in me and to the volunteers who made it happen,” Tipirneni tweeted.

One of the high profile endorsements she received on the eve of the primary was from U.S. Senator Kamala Harris who said, “Dr. Hiral tipirneni has dedicated her career to fighting for her patients as an emergency room physician and cancer research advocate. In Congress she will fight to ensure every American has quality, affordable health care.”

Tipirneni has lived in 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, which supports the county’s public health care delivery system.

During her campaign, Tipirneni was far and above the highest fundraiser, and her endorsements included the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that is seeking to turn this district from Red to Blue.

Other notable endorsements Tipirneni secured were from Emily’s List, End Citizens United, AAPI Dems, NARAL, the pro-choice national organization, AAPI Victory Fund founded by Indian-American Shekar Narasimhan, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Teamsters Union 104, etc. (https://hiralforcongress.com/endorsements/)

Analysts continue to classify it as leaning Republican. Though just the week before the primary, the House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee, found July 30, that he had violated 11 ethics rules and ordered him to pay $50,000 fine or face a reprimand from the House, the New York Times reported.

Tipirneni arrived from India as a 3-year old toddler. According to her bio on the campaign website, the family struggled at first, but her father eventually secured a job in his field of structural engineering in Ohio, where she and her brother were raised in a working-class suburb of Cleveland. Her mother, a social worker, was the director of a downtown Cleveland senior center and initiated its Meals on Wheels program.

She earned her medical degree through an accelerated, competitive program at Northeast Ohio Medical University where she met her husband, Dr. Kishore Tipirneni, now an orthopedic surgeon, during her first year of medical school.

After she served as Chief Resident of the University of Michigan’s Emergency Medicine program, the couple decided to move to Phoenix to raise their family.

Tipirneni served as an emergency room physician at Banner Good Samaritan downtown, the Maricopa County Medical Center, Banner Thunderbird, and Abrazo Arrowhead hospitals, before she decided to channel her future into a search for cancer cures when she lost both her mother and nephew to cancer.

She now leads teams of researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates in the fight to treat and cure breast cancer, prostate cancer, and childhood leukemia, her bio says.

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