Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) has served Arizona’s 8th Congressional District the U.S. House of Representatives since 2018 and is a member of the far-right Republican Study Committee. After winning the 2022 GOP primary with Trump’s endorsement, she will retain her House seat in the 118th congressional session since she is running unopposed.
Lesko was previously a member of the Arizona State Senate from 2015–18 and the State House of Representatives from 2009–15. Lesko started her career in politics through school boards, initially winning a seat on the Peoria Unified School District near Glendale, Arizona despite her troubled personal history of divorce, bankruptcies, lawsuits, and an arrest warrant.
In February 2018, Lesko was accused of illegally moving $50,000 from her campaign treasury to a super PAC that supported her candidacy for Congress. That same year, an investigation by The Intercept showed that she regularly sponsored bills in the state legislature that were almost verbatim based on model bills created by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Both before and after the 2020 presidential election, Lesko repeatedly cast doubt on the legitimacy of the process. An outspoken Trump ally, she objected to certifying Biden’s Electoral College win and voted against both impeaching Trump for inciting the mob and establishing a special House committee to investigate the insurrection, among other measures.
January 6, 2021
- Just hours after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, Lesko and 146 other congressional Republicans objected to certifying Biden’s win of the 2020 presidential election.
- Lesko voted against impeaching Trump for his role in instigating the attack on Congress and the Capitol, and for fanning the flames once the riot broke out. Speaking about impeachment, she cautioned that Democrats posed a greater danger to America than the former president did himself, saying, “I really do believe that you pushing this is going to further divide our country, further the unrest, and possibly incite more violence.”
- Lesko voted against establishing a House committee to investigate what led to the violent assault on the Capitol and disruption of the congressional procedure underway that day.
- On the one-year anniversary of the insurrection, Lesko issued a statement that read: “it is infuriating to me that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are wasting time and taxpayer money on a political witch hunt instead of investigating the U.S. Capitol security failures and ensuring a security breach like this does not happen again.”
- In January 2022, Lesko signed a letter to Democratic leaders in the House demanding an investigation of the supposed mistreatment of individuals arrested for their involvement in the insurrection, citing the conditions at a jail in Washington, D.C.
The Big Lie
- In a Jul. 31, 2020 interview that aired on Fox News, Lesko was already sounding the alarm about “fraud in mass mail-in voting.”
- On Dec. 10, 2020, Lesko signed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the results of the presidential election in four swing states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
- Lesko complained that an Arizona judge’s decision to extend a voter registration deadline was reason enough to reject certification of the state’s Electoral College votes even though she never raised the issue as a problem until after the election was decided in Biden’s favor.
- In July 2021, Lesko participated in a rally in Phoenix led by Trump in which she echoed his claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.