Friday, August 12, 2022

Blake Masters wins Arizona Republican Senate primary

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Blake Masters, protégé of billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, won the Arizona Republican nomination for the US Senate late Tuesday night. Associated Press and New York Times are reporting.

Masters’ triumph over solar energy executive Jim Lamon installs the Trump-approved candidate as the GOP’s pick to send former NASA astronaut Sen. Mark Kelly (D). Arizona is one of the few toss-up races that can decide which party controls the Senate in November.

Prior to the announcement of the Masters campaign last summer, Politics reported that controversial tech investor Thiel has funneled millions into the new Saving Arizona PAC in anticipation of his student’s Senate race. Thiel has donated at least $15 million to the PAC as of Election Day, according to campaign finance records.

Much of the PAC’s funding went to a spate of negative ads attacking Lamon and opponent Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who has been criticized by Trump for not doing enough to investigate false accusations of voter fraud in Arizona. On Monday, Brnovich released a report identify that his office found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in 2020.

With Masters’ victory on Tuesday, both of Thiel’s favorite Republican Senate candidates successfully defeated their main competitors this cycle. JD Vance, an old friend of Thiel and Hillbilly Elegy author, won Ohio Republican Senate primary this past May. Thiel put $15 million into a pro-Vance super PAC, about the last year. If Masters and Vance win their general election in November, they would bring new tech-inspired ideologies to the Senate, both heavily inspired by Thiel and endorsed by Trump.

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