GOP Hopefuls Vying To Replace Retiring Pol Spar Over Border, Trump

Five Republicans hoping to replace disgraced former Rep. Trent Franks sought to draw distinctions as they portrayed themselves as border-security hawks and loyal allies of President Donald Trump.

Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko, former state Rep. Phil Lovas, former state Sen. Steve Montenegro, former Arizona Corporation Commission member Bob Stump and conservative activist and talk-show host Clair Van Steenwyk touted their conservative bona fides in a 90-minute debate hosted by The Arizona Republic and

The quintet is among a dozen Republicans running in the Feb. 27 special primary election in the West Valley’s 8th Congressional District, traditionally a GOP stronghold.

The Republic selected the participants based on the number of signatures they submitted to qualify for the ballot, their performance in polls and previous experience as a candidate in the district.