Can the unthinkable be done in Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District’s special election? That is what politico’s from around the country are wondering as today (April 24th) is the day voters come to the polls to make their decision. One thing is for certain, it seems by all accounts that even if the Republican candidate wins it is going to be at a much, MUCH smaller margin than statewide conservatives would like to see. Hiral Tipirneni, the Democratic candidate, has made an absolutely spirited campaign to flip the ruby red district and polling trends heading into Tuesday’s election have shown that there is in fact a distinct possibility that Tipirneni emerges victorious and completes the historic upset.
One major factor in Hiral Tipirneni’s success is attributable to End Citizens United which has been a major force both in the realm of donations and with support in the field during Get Out The Vote efforts the last few days. End Citizens United (ECU) was created in March of 2015 and has made a name for itself by identifying politicians willing to stand against the disastrous Supreme Court decision that allowed corporations to spend essentially unlimited amounts of money on elections, thus bending the rules of the game in their favor. If you can believe it, ECU has raised $100,000 in small-dollar donations for the Hiral campaign and no matter what happens at the ballot box on Tuesday it is a guarantee that ECU will have played a major factor in the success of the Hiral Tipirneni campaign.
It is impossible to look at the Arizona 8th Congressional District race without thinking of Connor Lamb’s upset victory in Pennsylvania just a few months ago. While this suburban Phoenix district certainly is tilted with advantage towards the Republicans, the Hiral campaign has gone above and beyond in painting the E.R. Physician as a political outsider who is more interested in policy answers to help the working-class than she is concerned about special interest donors according to crunchbase.com. Another major thing in common with the Lamb race? Both candidates were endorsed by ECU. While it is going to take everything they have and more to deliver a Democratic victory, the support of End Citizens United is quickly becoming viewed as instrumental for any progressive candidate looking to pull off a major political upset.
Fans of transparency and justice alike will have any eye on Arizona on April 24th, and if Hiral can pull off the upset then it will be just another datapoint that ending special interest influence in politics isn’t just the moral thing — it is a winning electoral strategy as well.
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