Rep. Debbie Lesko wins

Rep. Debbie Lesko raised nearly $1.5 million in her reelection campaign, more than four times her 8th Congressional District challenger, Michael Muscato.

The National Association of Social Workers endorsed Michael Muscato, the Democrat candidate for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, which stretches from New River to Goodyear, including parts of Peoria, Glendale and Litchfield Park.

The NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with more than 110,000 members, including the Arizona chapter.

Muscato earlier secured the support of Common Defense, the Sierra Club and Democrats Work for America.

Muscato, who is challenging Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko, said he is “humbled and honored” by the social workers’ endorsement.

According to campaign financing website opensecrets.com, Muscato raised $381,201 from individuals, none of which came from special interest groups.

Lesko raised nearly $1.5 million, with more than $350,000 from political action committees.

In the heavily Republican 8th Congressional District, Lesko was elected in 2018, winning 55% of the votes against Hiral Tipirneni.

Seeking his first term, Muscato grew up in Phoenix and prides himself on being a lifelong resident of the community. “Arizona’s Congressional District 8 has a unique historical opportunity to elect a Congressman born and raised in this district,” Muscato told voters in a letter.

Muscato promised to push for immigration reform, student debt relief, increases in the minimum wage and environmental protection.

During the campaign, Muscato created a task force to help seniors during the pandemic. Muscato said that his “CD8 task force” would “assist seniors in need with the delivery of food and medication supplies, no matter what political party.”

Stephanie Holbrook, a West Valley resident, applauded Muscato’s efforts to provide an avenue for neighbors to support each other through difficult times.

“I think volunteer projects like this help unite the community. I believe leadership in this way will help District 8 become more cohesive,” Holbrook said.