Arizona PBS to broadcast 8th Congressional District Republican Candidates Debate

Arizona PBS will host a live debate between two Republican primary candidates for the 8th Congressional District seat leading up to the primary election later this month.

The Republican candidates, incumbent Debbie Lesko and challenger Sandra Dowling, will square off in a 30-minute discussion of important issues Friday, Aug. 3, at 5:30 p.m. “Arizona Horizon” host Ted Simons will moderate the discussion. The debate also will be available on the Arizona PBS’ website.

The primary election will take place Aug. 28 ahead of the general election Nov. 6.

“It’s unusual for a first-term GOP member of Congress to face a primary challenge, which makes this debate a great opportunity for voters to learn about the candidates from this heavily Republican district,” said Simons.

Lesko is seeking a second term in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 8th Congressional District. She was a former member of the Arizona Senate, and was previously part of the Arizona House of Representative from 2009-2015. Lesko also served as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Health and Rules Committees.

Dowling is a former teacher, insurance agency CEO and member of the U.S. Marine Corps. She served as the Maricopa County schools superintendent for 20 years (1989-2008) before former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies raided her home in the middle of the night in 2006, and she was charged with 25 felonies over alleged corruption. Those charges were eventually dropped and Dowling plead guilty to one misdemeanor in 2008.

Arizona PBS has proudly served as host for several Clean Elections debates leading up to the 2018 election, and in partnership with The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com for the Democratic gubernatorial candidates debate held July 31.

For more than 35 years, “Arizona Horizon” has focused on in-depth coverage of issues of concern to Arizonans. The award-winning nightly public affairs program focuses on politics, consumer affairs, the environment, business and health, among other topics.

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