Former lawmaker runs for seat he resigned from

A former Arizona lawmaker is running for his old seat more than five years after he resigned from it in 2017.

Former Rep. Trent Franks (R) announced Tuesday he is running for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, according to an Arizona Democratic Party press release.

Franks faced allegations from female staffers that he made unwanted advances toward them for the surrogacy of his child at the time of his departure in 2017.

Franks said in a written statement that he left Congress to spare those he loved “from heavily sensationalized attacks,” according to The Arizona Republic.

He continued, expressing hope that he could “move forward” for the people and country he loves “in a wiser, more dedicated way than ever before.”

The former lawmaker’s announcement comes after Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), who took his seat in a special election, said she would not seek reelection in 2024 because “Washington, D.C. is broken.”

“Spending, on average, three weeks out of every month away from my family, and traveling back and forth to Washington, D.C. almost every weekend is difficult,” Lesko said in a statement.

Franks joins former Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters and former Arizona attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh in the Republican race for the seat. Masters faced speculation that he would make another Senate run like he did in 2022, but he will now have to face off against the growing crowd of Republicans vying for Franks’s former seat.

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