Six Republicans are running for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District

By Merritt Hughes

United States Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R) is not running for reelection this fall, leaving her seat in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District open.

There are six Republicans running to fill her spot: Trent Franks, Abraham Hamadeh, Anthony Kern, Blake Masters, Ben Toma, and Patrick Briody. 

Franks served in the US House of Representatives from 2003 to 2017 from Arizona’s 2nd District, which is now the 8th District he is running for. He left office in 2017 after an aide said Franks offered her $5 million to act as a surrogate mother. Franks is running on his Republican ideals, including restricting abortion access and securing the US-Mexico border. 

Hamadeh previously was a prosecutor for Maricopa County and intelligence officer for the US Army Reserve. He also promotes his Republican values, with his website saying he will “stand with President Trump to take on the failed policies of Joe Biden and the radical left.” Hamadeh brought heavy legal suits following his 2022 defeat for Arizona attorney general to Kris Mayes (D).

Kern currently serves in the Arizona Senate and boasts his endorsement from President Trump on his campaign website. He says he is the right choice if voters “want a proven conservative fighting on your behalf.” Kern was a delegate to the Republican Convention in 2016 and 2024 and advocates for Second Amendment rights as well as securing the southern border. 

Masters does not have a background in politics and is running because he believes there needs to be more people in Congress “from outside the bureaucracy who will stand up to the establishment.” Masters explains his priorities are to “deport illegals, finish the wall, and back Trump 100%.”

Toma is the current speaker of the Arizona House and has been endorsed by incumbent Debbie Lesko. He wants to reunite Republicans in Congress to “fight the radical Left and their agenda.” Republican legislation like the flat tax and universal school choice were signed into law under Toma’s leadership. 

Briody is a lesser known candidate with no political background to date. He markets himself as a constitutionalist with “deep Conservative Values.”