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Debbie Lesko officially sworn in, replaces Trent Franks

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

PHOENIX — House Speaker Paul Ryan swore elected Republican Debbie Lesko into the House Monday, replacing GOP Rep. Trent Franks.

On April 24 through a special election, voters elected Lesko to Arizona’s Congressional District 8 seat. Lesko was declared the winner with 53 percent of the vote, while 47 percent of residents voted for Democrat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni.

More than 180,000 of the district’s 456,000 registered voters were expected to participate in the election.

Monday’s swearing-in ceremony marked the end of a monthslong process, which kicked off in December once Franks resigned after allegedly discussing surrogacy with at least two staffers. A former aide told The Associated Press that he pressed her to carry his child as a surrogate and offered her $5 million.

National Republican groups spent big to back Lesko, pouring in more than $500,000 for television and mail ads and phone calls to voters to ensure her victory.

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