Republican Debbie Lesko was officially sworn into the House of Representatives on May 7.
After her win, President Trump tweeted his congratulations, saying she “will do great things.”
Here’s three things to know about Arizona’s newest congresswoman.
She’s been involved in the state Republican Party for some time
Lesko resigned as a state senator, a position she held for three years, to run for Congress. Prior to that, she was a state representative for six years.
Lesko, a mother of three, got her start in Republican politics first with an elected volunteer position as district Republican chairman. Eventually she would become a county Republican officer, and then a state Republican officer.
“I was just really engaged,” Lesko told Fox News. “When an opening came up in the legislature in 2008, people approached me and asked if I wanted to run, and I did and won.”
As a state representative, she participated in a golf cart parade
Lesko said she gained a reputation of working to directly address her constituents’ concerns – including when it came to golf cart regulations.
In 2014, then a state representative, Lesko championed legislation that allowed people to drive golf carts – the preferred mode of transportation in large retirement communities – along the side of the road. At the time, more than 30,000 golf carts were registered in Maricopa County, Arizona, and up to 50 percent of households in Sun City, a large retirement community, used a golf cart, according to the Arizona Republic.
Residents, along with Lesko and then-Gov. Jan Brewer, celebrated with a parade of more than 100 golf carts.
She’s passionate about domestic violence issues
As a survivor of domestic violence, Lesko says she recognizes the importance of speaking out about the issue and making sure other women know they are not alone.
“Domestic violence is a very prevalent problem, and it can happen to anyone,” Lesko said. “It doesn’t matter what their status is, what their education background is.”
“It happens to so many women, and I just want them to know they can get out of it and become successful because I did it,” she said. “I’m living proof of it.”
“It happens to so many women, and I just want them to know they can get out of it and become successful because I did it. I’m living proof of it.”
Lesko said she isn’t sure if there’s much Congress can do in terms of legislation in order to combat domestic violence.
“You can’t legislate the behavior of people,” she said. “I think those of us who got out of the situation, it’s just important that we talk to other women and tell them to just get out because chances are it’s not going to get any better [in that relationship].”
She added, “There is hope. You have a future. There are organizations out there that will help you – help you financially, give you a place to stay.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.