Candidate Profile
Debbie Lesko

Republican , Arizona

Biography

Name
Debbie Lesko
Party
Republican
Race
U.S. Rep., Dist. 8
Incumbent
Yes
Links
       

Panel Rating*

Very Conservative Information icon *

*Additional information appears below for educational purposes; however, only data received prior to the candidate deadline was considered during Panel Evaluation.

Scorecards

Conservative Organizations

Campaign for Working Families PAC, 2019-20:  100%
Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), 2017-18:  100%
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), 2019:  100%
Concerned Women for America (CWA), 2020:  100%
Eagle Forum, 2019:  100%
Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC), 2017-18:  100%, 100% (cum.)
Gun Owners of America (GOA), 2018:  A
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 2017-2018:  100%
National Federation of Independent Business AZ, 2013-14:  100%
National Right to Life, 2019-20:  100%
National Tax-Limitation Committee (NTLC), 2017-18:  100%
Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), 2020:  A
NumbersUSA, 2019:  98%, 99% (cum.)
American Conservative Union (ACU), 2019:  90%, 95% (cum.)
FRC Action, 2019:  95%
Heritage Action, 2019-20:  98%, 95% (cum.)
American Energy Alliance (AEA), 2019-20:  92%
Club for Growth, 2019:  94%, 90% (cum.)
FreedomWorks, 2019-20:  79%, 88% (cum.)
FreedomWorks, 2020:  63%, 86% (cum.)
National Taxpayers Union, 2019:  B+
Conservative Review (CR), 2019:  78% (cum.)
Freedom Index, 2019:  75% (cum.)
John Birch Society (same as Freedom Index), 2018:  74% (cum.)

94%

CONSERVATIVE AVERAGE

Liberal Organizations

American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), 2018:  45%
Foreign Policy for America, 2019:  20%
Alliance for Retired Americans, 2019:  20%, 17% (cum.)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 2019-20:  16%
Center for Freethought Equality, 2017-18:  0%
Common Cause, 2017-18:  0%
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), 2017-18:  0%
Human Rights Campaign, 2017-18:  0%
League of Conservation Voters (LCV), 2018:  0%, 0% (cum.)
NARAL Pro-Choice America (NARAL), 2019:  0%
National Iranian American Council (NIAC), 2018:  0%
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 2020:  0%
Outdoor Industry Association PAC, 2018:  F
Planned Parenthood, 2019:  0% (cum.)
Planned Parenthood Advocates of AZ, 2015:  0%
Population Connection Action Fund, 2019:  0%
Progressive Punch, 2019:  F
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), 2017-18:  0%

5%

LIBERAL AVERAGE

Endorsements*

*These endorsements were received after the deadline and were not considered in the Panel Evaluations and are for additional educational purposes only.

Conservatives

13
Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Arizona Right to Life Action, Campaign for Working Families, Center for Arizona Policy Action (CAP Action), Citizens United Political Victory Fund, Eagle Forum PAC and 7 more

Others

2
*The Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA), VIEW PAC

Selected Contributions

Conservative

GIVEN BY CANDIDATE
20
Brian Fitzpatrick (2019), Committee to Defend the President (2018), Don Bacon (2019), Donald Trump (2020), Frederick Stephen "Fred" Upton (2019), Great America PAC (2018) and 14 more
RECEIVED BY CANDIDATE
98
American Revival PAC (2018), Ann PAC (2018), Arizona Chamber of Commerce (2018), Arizona Free Enterprise Club (2018), Arizona Leadership Fund (2016), Bernard & Billi Wilma Marcus (2019) and 92 more

Liberal

RECEIVED BY CANDIDATE
5
Airline Pilots Association (2020), Emily's List (2020), International Association of Firefighters (includes national, state & local affiliates) (2018), National Air Traffic Controllers Association (2020), Paul Singer (2019)

Summary

5%

LIBERAL

95%

CONSERVATIVE

 

Other Information

Questionnaire

Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Right to Life

Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Strongly Agree   

Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not receive taxpayer funds or grants from federal, state, or local governments.

Strongly Agree   

I support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires health care providers to provide life-saving treatment for infants who survive an attempted abortion.

Strongly Agree   

Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?

To protect the life of the mother.


Economy

It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has a livable income.

Strongly Disagree   

Free enterprise and the right to private property are essential elements of a productive economic system.

Strongly Agree   

How would you guarantee Social Security benefits for future generations?

While in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of maintaining and protecting Social Security benefits for current and future enrollees. Our country has a spending problem and we need to ensure that our spending in other areas of government do not impact our ability to support this important benefit for retirees.

What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?

The United States has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Government was collecting record revenues from pro-growth policies like the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and a strong economy. We need to focus on continuing to grow our economy. The federal government spends far too much on unnecessary government programs. For example, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation spent $1.2 million on a study for online dating.

Under what circumstances should taxpayers help pay off existing student loans?

American taxpayers should not be on the hook for decisions that college students make on taking out student loans. There are already numerous programs to help with college affordability like Pell Grants, and low interest loans. We need to do a better job of educating prospective students about the cost of loans, the availability of jobs for their degree program, and encouraging students to explore other high-paying job development opportunities like trade schools.


Religious Liberty

Governments should not discriminate against individuals, organizations or small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union of one man and one woman.

Strongly Agree   

Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.

Strongly Agree   

I promise to protect the freedom of Christians to share the Gospel and to practice Biblical principles.

Yes   

What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?

Freedom to practice the religion of your choice. I am a strong supporter of religious liberty.


Healthcare

It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has health insurance.

No Answer   

I support the elimination of private healthcare insurance.

Strongly Disagree   

How would you promote healthcare coverage that is adequate, affordable and accessible for all?

While in Congress, I have cosponsored and supported legislation that would promote more freedom in healthcare. The problem now is that there is too much government control in healthcare decisions. We need to expand health savings accounts, reduce regulations and provide more options to patients. Obamacare has raised costs and reduced options for patients and Americans deserve better.


National Security

The best way to maintain peace is through a strong military.

Strongly Agree   

What should the United States do to help eradicate the threat of radical Islamic terrorism?

America needs to stand strong in defending liberty. President Trump has defeated ISIS. We must continue to rebuild our military and take strong actions like the Trump Administration has done.


Immigration

I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.

Strongly Agree   

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished.

Strongly Disagree   

State and federal funds should be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws.

Strongly Agree   

Employers should be required to use E-verify to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

Strongly Agree   

Who should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. and under what circumstances?

America’s immigration policy needs to put Americans first. We need to reform our immigration policy so that those whom we are letting in strengthen our country and fill gaps in areas that we need. We need to move our immigration policy to a merit based system and not one based on diversity.


Education

Taxpayer-funded public education should be guaranteed through college.

No Answer   


Values

Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.

Strongly Agree   

I support adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws.

Strongly Disagree   

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

I am a Christian who believes in Biblical principles.


Qualifications

When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?

Conservative   

Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.

(Did not answer)

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.

NO

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I am a hard worker for my constituents and I always put them first. I don’t take anything for granted and it is an honor to represent Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. My number one priority as a Member of Congress is helping my constituents and providing the best customer service to them.


Criminal Justice

Mandatory minimum sentencing should be required and enforced for violent crimes.

Agree   


2nd Amendment

What restrictions on gun ownership are needed to protect public safety?

America has plenty of gun laws on the books and we need to enforce those laws. Dangerous criminals and felons should not have access to firearms, but we need to protect the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding citizens.


Other Important Issues

I support BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) against Israel if they refuse to allow the creation of a Palestinian state.

Strongly Disagree   

I support the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Strongly Disagree   

Reparations should be given to people on the basis of race.

Strongly Disagree   

The Electoral College should be abolished.

Strongly Disagree   

In priority order, what three areas of legislation do you propose to author or sponsor if elected?

1) Continue to support Americans who have been impacted by COVID-19; 2) Keep Americans safe by supporting our law enforcement, our military and securing our border; and 3) Grow jobs and our economy.

Is racism a threat to domestic security in the United States? Why or why not?

America is not a racist country. There are racist people, but an overwhelming majority of Americans are good hardworking people. The Radical Left has built a narrative that our country is full of racists and we are in danger. The reality is that radical anarchists like ANTIFA are the real threat.


Background

Education
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, BBA, 1981
Work & Military
  • (Candidate did not provide)
Affiliations
  • Faith House-Domestic Violence Shelter, Advisory Council
  • AZ Republican Party, Officer
  • Maricopa County Republican Party, Officer
  • Legislative District 9 Republican Party, District Chairman
  • Arrowhead Republican Women, 1st Vice President
Offices
  • Congresswoman, Held 2.5 years
  • AZ State Senator & Rep., Held 9 years
 

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