GOP Candidates Vie For Arizona’s 8th District Amid Strong Republican Hold‌ Six Candidates Are Running In The Republican Primary In Arizona’s 8th Congressional District ‌

Incumbent-free race attracts five front-runners; Franks, Hamadeh, Kern, Masters, and Toma lead in endorsements and support as primary approaches.‌
Six candidates are running in the Republican primary in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District on July 30, 2024.

      An I Voted sticked on display. The GOP primary for Arizona for the congressional race will take place on July 30. (PHILLIP GOLDSBERRY/UNSPLASHED)

The Six candidates are running in the Republican primary in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District on July 30, 2024. Five lead in endorsements, polling, fundraising, and local media attention: Trent Franks (R), Abraham Hamadeh (R), Anthony Kern (R), Blake Masters (R), and Ben Toma (R).

Incumbent Debbie Lesko (R) is not running for re-election, leaving the district open. According to Arizona political strategist Barrett Marson, “A Republican will win in this district, no matter what, it’s just a question of what type of Republican…The road to the gavel does not run through CD-8. So it will attract money, for sure, but that’s because of the individuals as opposed to the seat.”

The 8th Congressionsal district covers the Northwestern valley area in the Phoenix area. 

Franks is a former member of the U.S. House, representing Arizona’s 2nd and 8th districts from 2003 until resigning in 2017 after discussing surrogacy arrangements with female staffers. Franks is running on his record, saying he is “a proven conservative leader for such a time as this.” Franks said he had a record of accomplishment on restricting access to abortion, securing the southern border, and limiting the size of the budget deficit.

Hamadeh is a former Maricopa County prosecutor and U.S. Army Reserve intelligence officer. Hamadeh says he is running because “I’ve sworn an oath to protect the America that we love. I’m not done fighting for our country — I’m just getting started.” Hamadeh says he is “taking them all on—the uni-party elite, the propaganda machine in the media, the cabal of corruption in Maricopa County, and our badly-compromised courts.” Hamadeh ran for attorney general in 2022 and lost to Kris Mayes (D) by a margin of 280 votes out of more than 2.5 million cast.

Kern is a member of the Arizona Senate. Kern is running on his record, saying he had focused on ensuring election results reflected the will of the voters, protecting rights outlined in the Constitution, supporting restrictions on abortion, and supporting funding for parents to educate their children outside of public schools. Kern says he opposes the Arizona House’s repeal of a statute prohibiting abortion except to save the life of the mother, describing it as an example of “the continued compromise just to win elections…The voters are looking for leadership.”

Masters is a businessman with experience in software and investments. Masters says he is running because “life is getting harder for too many families in Arizona. Joe Biden’s economy is squeezing our middle class. Our border with Mexico – it’s wide open. It’s chaotic and it’s lawless.” Masters says his priorities are to “deport illegals, finish the wall, and back Trump 100%.” Masters ran for U.S. Senate in 2022 and lost to incumbent Mark Kelly (D) 51.4%–46.5%.

Toma is the speaker of the Arizona House. Toma is running on his record, saying he “authored and passed two landmark pieces of conservative legislation that were previously thought ‘impossible’ by both supporters and opponents,” referring to a bill introducing a flat tax and a bill providing funds for parents to educate their children outside of public schools. Toma says that “it’s more important to do the right thing, to actually solve problems and get meaningful legislation passed.”

The Arizona State Supreme court overturned the controversial abortion ban from 1864 that led to the outcry of the decision.

“I’m 100% pro-life,” said Toma who voiced support for a federal abortion ban. “I think recent events at the state Capitol have been very clear on where I stand on that issue. So I really don’t have much else to say.”

Also running is Patrick Briody (R).

As of Apr. 29, 2024, The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzales, and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball each rated the general election Safe/Solid Republican. Lesko defeated two write-in candidates with 96.5% of the vote in 2022.

All 435 seats are up for election. Republicans have a 217 to 212 majority with six vacancies. As of April 2024, 44 members of the U.S. House had announced they were not running for re-election.

    Daily Kos calculated what the results of the 2020 presidential election in this district would have been following redistricting. Joe Biden (D) would have received 42.5% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 56.1%.

    The primary is expected to take place on July 30 that will determine who will run in the general election for the congressional seat.


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