With 100% of the precincts reporting, the unofficial figures are:
Debbie Lesko: 35,77% — 25, 508 votes
Phil Lovas: 23,88% — 17,031 votes
Steve Montenegro: 23.82% — 16,987 votes
Montenegro, originally considered by many observers to be the front-runner, was irreparably damaged by recent revelations of his sexting with a legislative intern. A married pastor and former District Representative for U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned his congressional seat in December, Montenegro was endorsed by Franks — who remains popular in the district. Montenegro also took hits for his support of the National Popular Vote, which would have put Hillary Clinton in the White House.
Phil Lovas, originally appointed to the state legislature, attempted to use his early endorsement of President Trump to gin up support for his own candidacy, but fell far short.
Conservative Lesko, a state senator who served as Senate President Pro-Tempore, and carried the endorsement of former Gov. Jan Brewer, held her impressive lead over 11 challengers from the earliest reporting tallies. Congressional District 8 is a GOP stronghold. It’s highly unlikely liberal Democrat victor Hiral Tipirneni with 21,703 votes, will carry the solid red district in the April 24, 2018 Special General Election.