Chamber shuns Democrats at Surprise congressional candidate forum

Brianna Westbrook (lef) and Hiral Tipernene/Courtesy photos

2 Democrat women are competing in the upcoming primary for Franks’ seat

By Antonia Noori Farzan | Phoenix New Times

If you attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce’s candidate forum on Saturday, you might have reasonably concluded that no Democrats were running for Trent Franks’ old seat in Congressional District 8.

That’s been the case in previous election cycles, but in 2018, there are two Democratic women competing in the upcoming February 27 primary: Brianna Westbrook and Hiral Tiperneni.

In the forum’s official announcement, president and CEO Raoul Sada explained that the Chamber selects candidates that are “the best qualified” and “have a high probability of being elected.” That also eliminated six of the 12 Republican candidates: Only Debbie Lesko, Phil Lovas, Richard Mack, Steve Montenegro, Bob Stump, and Clair Van Steenwyk were invited.

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