ARIZONA NEWS

Which Arizona politician could replace former U.S. Rep. Trent Franks?

Dec 7, 2017, 5:36 PM | Updated: Dec 12, 2017, 6:35 pm
(Facebook Photos)...
(Facebook Photos)
(Facebook Photos)

PHOENIX — Several prominent Arizona Republicans could run in a special election for a U.S. House seat that was left vacant by former Rep. Trent Franks on Friday.

A senior Arizona political operative said state Sen. Kimberly Yee, state Sen. Debbie Lesko, Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman, and former state Rep. Phil Lovas were the people being immediately considered to enter the race.

Conservative political analyst Chuck Coughlin said former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat and Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord were also names to keep an eye on.

Arizona native Christopher Sylvester has also floated the possibility on social media that he will run for the seat.

RELATED: Franks resigns | How special election will work

At least four people have already thrown their names into the ring.

Brianna Westbrook, a transgender woman from the Phoenix area, announced her campaign earlier this year.

Steve Montenegro, a member of the Arizona Senate, announced his candidacy on Monday.

Bob Stump, a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives, also launched his campaign early Monday.

Travis Angry, a Peoria-based youth advocate, announced his candidacy on Tuesday.

Lovas announced his resignation from the Small Business Administration on Monday, reigniting the possibility that he could run for the seat.

Yee had previously announced a run for state treasurer, but the Franks vacancy could tempt her to run for federal office.

The 43-year-old is a rising star in the Arizona Republican Party. Yee, a Valley native, earned a spot as featured speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention and drew praise from state leaders for her Cleveland appearance.

Lesko was elected to the state Legislature in 2009. She first represented the 9th District before switching to the 21st.

She has been a vocal advocate for a voucher program that would give taxpayer money to more than one million Arizona parents so they can choose which school their children attend.

Hickman is also the vice president of marketing and sales at Hickman’s Family Farms, a large egg production company with locations in three states.

He has been one of the leading voices in the county’s feud with the Arizona Diamondbacks over maintenance of Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.

Lovas served in the state House of Representatives until April, when he left to take a job in President Donald Trump’s administration. He is the Small Business Administration’s advocate for Arizona and other Western states.

Brewer was unlikely to enter the race. She had previously ruled out a run for U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat.

Carlat served on the Peoria City Council before winning the city’s mayor race two years ago.

Lord was first elected mayor in 2011.

It was unclear if the Democratic Party had an immediate list of names for Franks’ seat.

Because Franks resigned his seat during the first session of Congress, House rules required his spot to be filled by a special election.

Arizona law said that Gov. Doug Ducey must set a date for the special election within three days of Franks’ resignation.

On Monday, Ducey announced that the special primary election will be held on Feb. 27 to determine the nominees for the seat. The newest member of the Arizona congressional delegation will be elected April 24.

Had he left during the second session, his seat may have been filled or left vacant until the next election, depending on the timing.

KTAR News’ Corbin Carson and Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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Which Arizona politician could replace former U.S. Rep. Trent Franks?