ARIZONA NEWS

Rep. Debbie Lesko excited about her future in Arizona, frustrated with Washington politics

Feb 27, 2024, 4:05 AM

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) leaves a House Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill on April 27, ...

U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko isn't seeking reelection to Congress in 2024, but she is running for the seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. (File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko said Monday she’s excited about the next chapter of her Arizona political career while expressing frustration about her six-year tenure in Washington.

Lesko, a West Valley Republican, announced in October that she wouldn’t seek reelection in 2024 after three-plus terms. She didn’t have any specific plans for her next move until Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman revealed earlier this month that he wasn’t running again.

“I was retiring from Congress because I want to be close to my family, but all of a sudden, Clint Hickman says he’s not running for reelection,” Lesko told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show. “A few people texted me said you should consider doing this.”

Lesko, who spent a decade as a state lawmaker before heading to the U.S. House in 2018, decided it made sense for her to run for county supervisor in her GOP-leaning district.

“I know all these people,” she said. “This is a natural fit, and I know what the issues are in the West Valley, and I want to continue to help them. So, all of a sudden, God has opened up this other path for me, and I’m really excited about it.”

Debbie Lesko on working in Congress: ‘It’s really frustrating right now’

While Lesko said family was the main reason she’s retiring from Congress, she would have been more willing to deal with being away from home so much if she felt that her time in Washington was more productive.

“I always have to cram in seeing all my family in like a day or two, and I would continue to sacrifice doing that if I felt that we were really getting a lot of stuff done,” she said. “But with a Democrat Senate, a Democrat president, it’s hard to move the ball. The U.S. House of Representatives can stop bad things from happening, but it’s really frustrating right now in Washington, D.C.”

Lesko also expressed frustration about her GOP colleagues.

“I really think Republicans need to do a better job of trying to unite,” she said. “Now, we’re just independent thinkers. We think differently than the Democrats, right? So, there’s a lot of different opinions, and so I hope we can get it done for the sake of our country.”

Lesko said it’s gotten to the point where House leadership isn’t telling members much about ongoing budget negotiations because of concerns about leaks to the media.

“We had a Republican conference call just the other night, and nothing came out of it. I mean, it was very disappointing, and that’s one of the reasons that I have decided not to run for reelection,” she said.

“It’s just very, very frustrating that we don’t get a lot of information, even as members of the Republican Congress.”

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Rep. Debbie Lesko excited about her future in Arizona, frustrated with Washington politics