Former Rep Who Resigned In Bizarre Scandal Announces Bid For His Old Job

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Former Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona launched a campaign Wednesday for the seat he previously held but resigned from after reports emerged of a surrogacy scandal in his congressional office, according to the Arizona Republic.

Franks resigned from office in 2017 prior to a House Ethics Committee investigation after he reportedly asked two female staffers if they would carry his child. The former congressman told the Arizona Republic that he would be running for the newly-open seat left vacant by his successor, GOP Rep. Debbie Lesko, and will face off in a growing Republican primary with former attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh and former Senate candidate Blake Masters in 2024.

“When I left Congress five years ago, I did so to spare those I love most from heavily sensationalized attacks in that unique and difficult time,” Franks told the outlet. “Now that my family has matured and circumstances have developed as they have, I hope I can move forward for those I love and for the country I love in a wiser, more dedicated way than ever before.” (RELATED: GOP Stars Emerge As Possible Congress Contenders After Swing-State Rep Announces Retirement)

When announcing his resignation from Congress, Franks said he and his wife “struggled with infertility” and had “experienced miscarriages.” The former congressman served eight terms, all of which he safely secured by winning by double digits.

Hamadeh lost his bid for Arizona’s attorney general in the 2022 midterms to Democrat Kris Mayes by a razor-thin margin of less than 300 votes. Masters, who was reportedly considering launching another Senate bid, was defeated the same year by Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly.

Lesko has been serving Arizona’s 8th Congressional District since 2018, and will finish her term through January 2025. She announced on Oct. 17 that she would not seek reelection to spend more time with her family in Arizona.

“Spending, on average, three weeks out of every month away from my family, and traveling back and forth from Washington, D.C. almost every weekend is difficult,” Lesko said. “Washington, D.C. is broken; it is hard to get anything done.”

Franks could not be reached for comment.

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