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The Latest: Republican wins Arizona US House seat election

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Republican U.S. Congressional candidate Debbie Lesko celebrates her win at her home Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Peoria, Ariz. Lesko ran against Democratic candidate Hiral Tipirneni for Arizona's 8th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on Tuesday's special election for an Arizona congressional seat (all times local):

8 p.m.

Republican Debbie Lesko has won the special election in Arizona's 8th Congressional District, keeping the U.S. House seat in GOP control.

The former state senator on Tuesday defeated Hiral Tipirneni, a former emergency room physician. Tipernini had hoped to replicate surprising Democratic wins in Pennsylvania, Alabama and other states in a year where opposition to President Donald Trump's policies have boosted the party's chances in Republican strongholds.

Lesko replaces former Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican who resigned in December amid sexual misconduct allegations.

The district sprawls across western Phoenix suburbs, covering some of the most conservative areas of the red state, including the retirement community of Sun City.

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7 p.m.

Polls are now closed in the Arizona special election that will determine who fills out the term of former Republican Rep. Trent Franks.

The first results of the race for U.S. House pitting Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni are expected to be released shortly after 8 p.m. local time.

Tipirneni is an emergency room physician and a cancer research advocate, while Lesko served in the state Senate until recently, representing parts of Arizona's 8th Congressional District since 2009.

Franks resigned in December amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Tipirneni is trying to pull off an upset, but Republicans have a sizable lead in both voter registration and in early ballots already cast in the special election.

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1:30 p.m.

Voter turnout for Tuesday's special election in Phoenix's western suburbs appears higher than during the February primary.

Officials say the election going fairly smoothly, with only a few problems reported.

Maricopa County Recorder's Office spokeswoman C. Murphy Hebert (ay'bear) says ballot printers needed repairs at two of the 8th Congressional District's 55 polling locations, affecting 20 voters.

Spokesmen for Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni say they don't know of any serious voting problems.

As of just before noon Tuesday, over 7,600 voters had cast ballots, compared with nearly 8,500 voting at polling places during the entire day of the Feb. 27 special primary election to replace Republican Trent Franks.

With the number of early ballots, that points toward the number of total votes cast in the special general election approaching 188,000, compared with 116,732 in February.

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6:56 a.m.

Polls are open in the Phoenix area for Tuesday's special election to fill a vacant U.S. House seat in which Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni are running to replace former Congressman Trent Franks.

Tipirneni is an emergency room physician and a cancer research advocate, while Lesko served in the state Senate until recently, representing parts of Arizona's 8th Congressional District since 2009.

Franks is a Republican who resigned in December amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Tipirneni is trying to pull off an upset, but Republicans have a sizable lead in both voter registration in the district and in early ballots already cast in the special election.

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11 p.m.

A Democratic newcomer is trying to pull off an upset victory for an open U.S. House seat in Arizona that has been held by Republicans since the early 1980s.

Hiral Tipirneni is an emergency room physician and a cancer research advocate, but many observers see her odds as slim against former state Sen. Debbie Lesko.

They face off in Tuesday's special election to replace former Rep. Trent Franks in Arizona's 8th District, who resigned in December amid sexual harassment allegations.

Lesko, a Republican, has represented parts of the district since 2009.

She has an extremely strong base of support in a district Franks had locked up since 2003.