Guest Editorial: Carpetbagging

By Scottsdale Watchman

Just one year ago, Dr. Hiral Tipirneni made quite the impression on the West Valley’s political scene. In last April’s special election in the 8th Congressional District, which consists of Phoenix’s north and western suburbs, she lost to Arizona state senator Debbie Lesko by a mere five points. Hiral was the talk of the town.

Since that time, however, Tipirneni has been tipping in the wrong direction. Seven months after the special election, she lost to Lesko by 11 points in the November general election. This week, the physician and cancer research advocate announced that she will be relaunching her political aspirations many miles to the east in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, where will seek to unseat Rep. David Schweikert.

We’re perplexed by this decision. We wonder whether Dr. Tipirneni needs a medical checkup to understand what she’s exactly thinking. From what we can tell, she has no ties whatsoever to the 6th Congressional District. According to county records, she lives in Glendale’s Arrowhead Lakes community and her campaign spokesperson even admitted that she still lives in the 8th District. Now, there is no federal law that requires a congressional candidate to live in the district that he or she wishes to represent but give us a break. Can you say “carpetbagging”? We’re pretty confident that Hiral can’t.  

In the 6th Congressional District, she faces an uphill climb steeper than the hike up to Tom’s Thumb, a place in the district she is surely not familiar with. Not only does Rep. Schweikert, the five-term congressman, ACTUALLY live in the 6th District, he was raised in Scottsdale and has lived in the area almost his whole life. He and his wife ran a business based in Fountain Hills. Rep. Schweikert represented the district in the Arizona House of Representatives in the early 1990s and in Congress. He’s been taxpayer advocate who has fought government waste and overregulation. His constituents appreciate his accomplishments and he has won handily in the last several election cycles. If there’s another person other than Rep. Schweikert who has a keener awareness of this district, or who can more competently represent its citizens in Washington, we challenge you to name them.

Hiral Tipirneni’s latest congressional ambitions are like the now-defunct Alliance of American Football: a failure before they’ve even started.