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Former AG Grant Woods endorses Democratic candidate Tipirneni

(Dr. Hiral Tiperneni Campaign Photo)

PHOENIX — Former attorney general of Arizona Grant Woods, a Republican contemplating a switch in political parties, has endorsed Democrat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni in her congressional bid against incumbent conservative Debbie Lesko.

Woods, the onetime chief of staff to the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, Woods and Tipirneni appeared together at a town hall in Surprise on Tuesday night.

“She’s smart, independent, articulate and understands the complexities of important issues. In other words, she is just what our country needs in Congress,” Woods said of the Congressional District 8 candidate.

This was not the first Democratic candidate who Woods endorsed: He appeared in a campaign ad for Kyrsten Sinema ahead of her U.S. Senate race.

Tipirneni lost to Lesko in a special election in April to replace Trent Franks, who resigned in December 2017.

The margin of victory was narrower than expected in the heavily Republican district, 52.6 percent to 47.4.

The general election was set for Nov. 6.

The emergency room physician said she was honored by the endorsement and happy to “receive it in the bipartisan spirit with which it’s given.”

Woods also tweeted out his support of Tipirneni.

In the days after McCain’s death in August, Woods told KTAR News 92.3 FM Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes that he was “seriously considering” a run for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat.

“… the question I have to answer … was, ‘Should I stay on the sidelines for the rest of my life?’ Because this is it, basically, or do I have an obligation to follow John McCain, not just talk about John McCain, but to follow him and get in the fight, regardless of the consequences? And that’s what I’m trying to grapple with right now.”

Woods spent eight years as attorney general before leaving public service.

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