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Rep. David Schweikert confident about defeating Hiral Tipirneni

FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2017 file photo, Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., makes a point during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats see the 6th District, which covers much of north Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills and Scottsdale, as winnable because of a long-running ethics investigation into five-term Republican incumbent Schweikert. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)

PHOENIX – Republican U.S. Rep. David Schweikert expressed confidence Wednesday that he will defeat challenger Dr. Hiral Tipirneni in November’s election.

Tipirneni was projected to win the Democratic nomination after taking a 17-point lead in initial results.

“You never want to downplay a race, you take everything serious, but you do have this thing called math,” Schweikert told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News. ”

“This is a district she does not live in, she has not run in this district—she ran in a district out on the west side a couple of time and lost there—and the math makes it very clear, particularly in a presidential race, it’s not going to happen.”

In 2018, Tipirneni ran twice for the 8th District House seat but lost to Debbie Lesko in a special election for a vacancy and the general election.

Schweikert’s Scottsdale-area district, like Lesko’s in the West Valley, has been a GOP stronghold.

“The independents in the district perform much more conservative and you just do the basic math. Hope and aspiration isn’t a campaign plan,” Schweikert said in a separate interview with KTAR News.

Democrats, however, think they have a shot a flipping the seat because Schweikert has struggled to raise funds and was the subject of a recently resolved House Ethics Committee investigation.

Schweikert said his team’s polling shows that voters have been understanding of the situation.

“It’s a horrible thing to go through but have to also give the Democrats and others credit for stalling and stalling because this is something that should’ve been done last year,” Schweikert told Arizona’s Morning News.

Last week, Schweikert admitted to 11 House ethics violations and agreed to pay a $50,000 fine. The Republican has been under investigation for two years over allegation that his office misused funds.

Schweikert said the compliance firm they hired didn’t catch the violation that was committed by a long-term employee, but when it came to light, his team did everything to fix it.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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