Debate between Rep. Debbie Lesko and Challenger Michael Muscato for Congressional District 8

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On this special “election-2020” edition of Arizona Horizon we feature a debate between two candidates for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District which covers many of the suburbs North and West of Phoenix in Maricopa County.

This debate is a joint effort between Arizona PBS, the Arizona Republic and KJZZ radio. Joining to moderate is Richard Ruelas from the Arizona Republic and Steve Goldstein of KJZZ. The candidates in this debate are Republican Incumbent Debbie Lesko who is seeking a second term in the US House of Representatives. Previously she served in the Arizona Senate and has been a business owner. And Democratic challenger Michael Muscato, a former professional baseball player and small business owner.

Topics for the debate included:

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Mask Mandates
  • Support for President Trump and/or Support for candidate Vice President Joe Biden
  • Healthcare
  • National Debt
  • Mail-in Voting
  • Voter Fraud
  • Voter Suppression
  • Immigration

The candidates debated for 60 minutes. The debate ended with the following closing statements. The order of the statements was at random.

Michael Muscato went first: 

“Thank you for having me. Thank you at home for joining me. My name is Michael Muscato. The job of Congress is to represent the people of the district, not a political party and its leadership. There is no one more representative of Arizona’s 8th Congressional District than me. I’m from here. I am asking you to provide this district with true representation, whether or not you are republican, an independent or democrat. This is not an election between a republican and a democrat. It’s an election between a career politician whose had 12 years to do the job, and one of our own. I’m asking you to choose guardianship over partisanship. I’m asking you to chose country over party. Where I come from, which happens to be right here. Where you come from means something, and family means everything. I’m running for Congress because our hometowns and country are always worth fighting for. Thank you for having me.”

Then Incumbent Debbie Lesko gave her closing statement:

“Thank you again for allowing me to participate in this debate. And I want to thank you for supporting me. It’s a total blessing and honor to serve in the United States Congress. Please call me any time. You can reach out to me at my office, at my home. I’ve put my home phone number out there for I think, 20 years now. Or visit my website at I ask you to pray for our country. This is a vital time in our nation, and for the future of our nation. This election is important. Thank you. May God continue to bless you, and bless our great nation.”


Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic
Steve Goldstein, KJZZ
Debbie Lesko, Republican Incumbent
Michael Muscato, Democratic Challenger

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