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Political Note #272   Hiral Tiperneni AZ CD 06

2020                             General Election

Nevertheless, she persisted. That’s Elizabeth Warren’s line. It also applies to Hiral Tipirneni She is running for Arizona’s sixth Congressional against incumbent Republican David Schweikert. She ran for Congress before – in 2018. Twice. She ran in a special election, then in a general election.

Born in India, Hiral Tipernini grew up outside of Cleveland. Her parents immigrated to the United States when she was three. Her view of the experience is that her parents had a challenging time of it. Her father eventually qualified in the United States in his field as an engineer. Her mother worked as a social worker, running a senior center in downtown Cleveland and initiating a Meals on Wheels program.

Hiral Tipernini is focused. As a child, the most reckless thing she appears to have done is ride a skateboard down hill. From high school, she went directly to medical school. The accelerated program at Northeastern Ohio University Medical University (NEOMED) allowed her to get a BA and an MD. She was focused on becoming a doctor. NEOMED is affiliated with University of Akron, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, Youngstown State University, and Hiram College. She was working in Trump country before it was Trump country.

Hiral Tipernini met her husband, a fellow student, during her first year of medical school, did her residency in emergency medicine at the University of Michigan, where she served as Chief Resident. Together, she and her husband examined the map to consider a good place to go to practice medicine. They chose Phoenix. He joined an orthopedic surgery practice. She went to work at the downtown Good Samaritan emergency room, later moving to other hospitals and their emergency rooms.

She and her husband were living what some might think an ideal life, raising three children and doing serious professional work.

Now we get political in the best sense and in the worse way. She left the emergency practice to work in cancer research. Her website explains: “After losing her mother and nephew to cancer, Hiral directed her passion and problem-solving skills to evaluating and directing funding for cutting-edge cancer research. She now leads teams of researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates in the fight to treat and cure breast cancer, prostate cancer, and childhood leukemia.”

In 2018, Republicans attacked her. They claimed that her advertisements made it appear that she was still practicing medicine. They further claimed she left that practice because of a malpractice lawsuit. There are doctors who ought to leave medicine because of dozens of malpractice lawsuits. Hiral Tipirneni is not one of them.

Hiral Tipirneni is not in a university doing cancer research. Her work has been corporate. She works for CSRA’s Health Sector. CSRA is a technology and consulting organization. Their offices are in Falls Church, Virginia – military country. CSRA provides information technology services to US government “clients in national security, civil government, and health care and public health.” The company was created through a merger of CSC (Computer Services Corporation) and SRA (Systems Research and Applications Corporation) in 2015. General Dynamics purchased CRSA in 2018. This is the corporate world.

The Republicans who attacked Hiral Tipirneni claimed she left private practice for a “cushy job” after the malpractice law suit. Republicans really do have difficulty attacking someone for working in a corporation. According to her bio as a director of the Valleywise Health Foundation, her corporate work involved helping organizations vet and secure research consistent with Congressionally Directed Mandated Research Programs. The bio particularly notes work with the Department of Defense and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Well paid? Probably. Cushy? I don’t know. Thoroughly immersed in what has become the medical care system of the United States? That would be right. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Valleywise Health Foundation, Hiral Tipirneni is an integral part of Phoenix’s taxpayer supported public health system (not exactly socialized medicine or Medicare for All, but a serious effort to support the health of people in the Phoenix area). This system, which includes a hospital, two behavioral health centers, an outpatient specialty center and 12 family health centers, is the beneficiary of a big public bond issue. That would be nearly $1 billion dollars to improve medical care for the poor.

Hiral Tipirneni persists in her politics. In 2018, when she ran in Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District, she was running in a heavily Republican District. Trump carried it 58-37. Romney carried it 62-37. Its Republican member of Congress got himself into trouble. Trent Franks had represented the district since 2002. The House ethics committee investigated and discovered he asked two of his staffers about bearing his children. He apparently offered one of them $5 million and retaliated against her for refusing. These allegations were too creepy to sustain. He resigned.

Debbie Lesko, President Pro Tem of the Arizona State Senate, defeated Hiral Timirneni 52-48 in the special election to replace Trent Franks. Lesko won again in the general 55 – 45. Hiral Tipirneni lost by 10 points where Republican presidential candidates had won by 20 or more.

Hiral Tipirneni persists. She is not doing exactly the same the over and over again expecting better results. She is running in Arizona’s Sixth Congressional District this time. She has a better chance there. John McCain won this district by 23, Romney won by 21. But Trump won by 10. Here, too, the Republican incumbent is in trouble. He has not resigned.

Incumbent David Schweikart’s problems have to do with money, not sex. Schweikert’s Chief of Staff, Oliver Schwab, appears to have paid the consulting firm he owns well in excess of what was permissible. Schweikert describes it as a bookkeeping problem that has been fixed.

How vulnerable is Schweikert? He won in 2018 by 10 points. Before that he won election by 20 points or more. This year, he is not raising a lot of money. He finished 2019 with less than $300,000 on hand. Hiral Tipirneni has $900.000. She will win her primary. She has ten times as much on hand as the closest Democrat, twenty times as much as the candidate who lost to Schweikert by 10 points in 2018.

If Hiral Tipirneni is elected, House Democrats will have a new expert in how the American health care system operates. She will not be a Medicare for All person – at least not initially.   She says “expanding Medicare so that anyone can buy into the system is a great place to start.” She proposes to retain the most popular elements of the Affordable Care Act – children on family insurance to 26, protection for pre-existing conditions, continued prohibition of lifetime caps, and the requirement that all plans cover basic services. She would expand Medicare, allowing anyone to buy in. She believes the government can reduce costs through competition, relying, in part, on insurance companies in the process.

Hiral Tipirneni’s views work well for her district in Arizona. If those views work for you, give her some support . Winning this district will not be easy. The more Democrats we have in the House, the better off we are.

Below are Congressional seats Democrats are trying to flip from incumbent Republicans. The ones with asterisks ran in 2018*

Arizona 06                       Hiral Tipirneni* to beat incumbent David Schweikert

California 50                     Ammar Campa-Hajjar* to win this now open Rep seat

Florida 16                         Margaret Good to beat incumbent Vern Buchanan

Illinois 13                         Betsy D Londrigen* to beat incumbent Rodney Davis

Indiana 05                       Christina Hale to win this open Republican seat

Iowa 04                           JD Scholten* to beat incumbent Steve King

Kansas 02                       Michelle De La Isla to beat incumbent Steve Watkins

Michigan 06                     Jon Hoadley to beat incumbent Fred Upton

Minnesota 01                   Dan Feehan* to beat incumbent Jim Hagedorn

New York 02                   Jackie Gordon to win this open Republican seat

New York 21                   Tedra Cobb* to beat incumbent Elise Stefanic

Ohio 04                           Mike Larsen to beat incumbent Jim Jordan

Pennsylvania 10             Eugene DePasquale to beat incumbent Scott Perry

Texas 21                         Wendy Davis to beat incumbent Chip Roy

Texas 23                         Gina Ortiz Jones* to win this open Republican seat

Washington 03                 Carolyn Long* to beat incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler


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