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Debbie Lesko resigns from Arizona Senate to focus on Congress run

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PHOENIX — Arizona Sen. Debbie Lesko resigned Monday to pursue her run for the Congressional seat given up by former Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned last month.

“It has been an absolute honor and privilege to work for the people of Peoria, Glendale, Surprise, El Mirage, Youngtown and the Sun City communities over the last nine years,” Lesko said in a release.

“It will be my honor to continue that hard work in Congress if I am elected in the special election.”

Lesko attended Gov. Doug Ducey’s State of the State address prior to her resignation taking effect.

She spent nine years in the state Legislature and was the Senate president pro-tempore. She announced her run a few weeks after Franks resigned.

Several other GOP politicians are considering jumping in. Former state Sen. Steve Montenegro has already resigned to focus on running in the Feb. 28 special election Republican primary to replace Franks.

Montenegro was endorsed both by Franks and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“I’ve worked with and respected Senator Steve Montenegro for years. Steve has supported me in my fight against illegal immigration, he has always supported law enforcement, and he cast the tough votes we needed in the legislature,” Arpaio said.

Politicians will not be required to resign to run in the special election to fill Franks’ seat as they would be in a general election.

Three Democrats have filed for the seat in the heavily Republican district in the suburbs west of Phoenix.

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