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Debbie Lesko wins GOP primary to replace Trent Franks in Arizona

By Sara Shayanian

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A married minister caught up in a sexting scandal lost his GOP primary campaign for an Arizona congressional seat.

Steve Montenegro conceded defeat in Tuesday's primary to Debbie Lesko in a special election to replace Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned his 8th District House seat in December over sexual misconduct allegations.

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"It feels awesome! I'm very thankful to all of the voters that put their trust and faith in me and all of the people that have helped me, either at the polls or donated money or supported me in any way," Lesko told the Arizona Republic. "It took a team effort."

Lesko's win over Montenegro may come as a relief to Republicans who feared losing the seat if Montenegro, a former state senator, won the primary.

He was implicated in a sexting scandal with a legislative staffer.

Lesko will face Democrat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni in the April 24 primary.

The winner will finish Franks' term.

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