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Republican Debbie Lesko wins Arizona special election, NBC News projects

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WASHINGTON — Republican Debbie Lesko won an Arizona congressional special election Tuesday over her Democratic rival, Hiral Tipirneni, NBC News projected.

Tipirneni declined to concede the race, saying outstanding votes made it too close to call.

Lesko held a 52.6 percent to 47.4 percent lead over Tiperneni at 10 p.m. (1 a.m. ET) Tuesday, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office, a margin that may concern some Republicans.

President Donald Trump carried the district in the conservative Western Phoenix suburbs by 21 percentage points, and its previous occupant, Trent Franks, a Republican, ran unopposed.

Debbie Lesko, right, claims victory in the special election in Arizona with former Gov. Jan Brewer at her home Tuesday night in Peoria.Matt York / AP

Franks resigned the seat last year in a sexual harassment scandal.

But Tipirneni, a former emergency room physician, appeared to come within 6 percentage points of Lesko, a former state senator who is on the board of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council.

Regardless of the outcome, “people are looking at CD8 in a very different light tonight,” Tiperneni said, referring to the 8th Congressional District.

“And that’s because something is happening here,” she said. “What it comes down to is we knew our community and our districts and our neighborhoods a hell of a lot better than our pundits did.”

Republicans had pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Arizona’s 8th Congressional District to avoid another embarrassing defeat after losses in Pennsylvania, Alabama and Virginia.

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Sturgeon condemned for university chaos as students treated like 'second-class citizens'

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NICOLA STURGEON has been forced to face up to a wall of criticism over her handling of coronavirus outbreaks at several universities which have put hundreds of students into self-isolation.

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Federal judge rules against Trump admin, says 2020 census must continue for another month

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ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal judge has stopped the 2020 census from finishing at the end of September and ordered the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident to continue for another month through the end of October, saying a shortened schedule likely would produce inaccurate results.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California made her ruling late Thursday, two days after hearing arguments from attorneys for the Census Bureau, and attorneys for civil rights groups and local governments that had sued the Census Bureau in an effort to halt the 2020 census from stopping at the end of the month.

Attorneys for the civil rights groups and local governments said the shortened schedule would undercount residents in minority and hard-to-count communities.

Koh said inaccuracies produced from a shortened schedule would affect the distribution of federal funding and political representation. The census is used to determine how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed each year and how many congressional seats each state gets.

Government attorneys had argued that the census must finish by the end of September to meet a Dec. 31 deadline for turning over numbers used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets.

Koh’s preliminary injunction suspends that end-of-the-year deadline, too. The San Jose, California-based judge had previously issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Census Bureau from winding down field operations until she made a ruling in the lawsuit.

Attorneys for the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce, which oversees the agency, had said during the hearing they would likely appeal.

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Brexit LIVE: France lashes out at UK as Barnier leaves talks – 'We WON'T fall for it!'

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FRANCE has hit back at statements from the UK about post-Brexit transport delays across the Channel and warned the EU “won’t fall for a kind of intimidation at the European level” to reach an agreement between the two sides.

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