June 13, 2022 Press Releases

ICYMI: “HOW THE GOP’S BITTER ARIZONA SENATE PRIMARY WILL BE A TEST OF TRUMP’S POWER”

“And a bitter Republican contest could hurt the party’s chances.”

PHOENIX — On Friday, Vanity Fair published an overview of Arizona’s “nasty” and “intensely personal” GOP Senate primary, highlighting how Trump’s recent endorsement of Blake Masters has only made this messy contest messier as candidates fight over Masters’ growing Thiel dependence and Lamon’s business dealings with Chinese state-owned companies.

Vanity Fair also unearthed new audio of Masters declaring that it’s no longer John McCain’s “Republican Party in Arizona” as well as Jim Lamon’s plan to bring the failed “​​Texas model of deregulated electrical grids” that just last year resulted in mass power outages and deaths to Arizona.

Read the full piece here, or see below for key excerpts:

  • For months a Peter Thiel–backed venture capitalist, a multimillionaire former energy executive, and Arizona’s attorney general have been duking it out to win Donald Trump’s affection in the state’s Republican Senate primary.
  • This slate of Republican candidates are diametrically opposed to the more traditional conservatives who previously held Arizona’s highest offices, such as Jeff Flake, Jon Kyl, and the late John McCain…
  • Perhaps Masters, himself, while on a New York radio show in March, explains his gamble best: “John McCain, rest his soul––it’s not his Republican Party in Arizona anymore.”
  • Like Vance, Masters has spent most of his adult life at elite academic institutions and tech investment firms, despite now running as a populist, everyman candidate. 
  • “Here you have some rich dude from Northern California who waltzes in and says, ‘I’m going to buy a U.S. Senate seat,’” said Rose, who is a longtime Brnovich supporter. “You’ve got someone else stepping in to orchestrate this Trump endorsement, and without Thiel, Masters would be an asterisk in this race.”
  • “I met Lamon once, and I found him to be arrogant as all hell,” said Rose, the Arizona consultant, noting that his pitch feels like a halftime pep talk from a Southern football coach. “Plus, he sounds like he’s running to be the head coach at Alabama, rather than a U.S. Senate candidate from Arizona.”
  • Lamon’s campaign released an ad last week attacking Masters for criticizing American involvement in World War II, calling Israel the “North Korea of the Middle East,” and praising Ted Kaczynski as a “subversive” and “underrated” thinker. 
  • Meanwhile, a Thiel-backed super PAC supporting Masters has hit Lamon for business dealings with Chinese state-owned companies during his time as an energy executive, relationships Lamon has tried to downplay.
  • On the campaign trail Lamon has proposed copying “the Texas model of deregulated electrical grids,” in Arizona. That deregulation led to dangerous power outages for millions of Texans in a snowstorm last year. Given the extreme heat that Arizona experiences during the summer months, similar power outages could prove catastrophic.
  • Whoever emerges from this Republican primary, likely battered, will face a formidable Democratic incumbent who has had no primary challengers and has accumulated roughly $39 million thus far.
  • “[The GOP primary] is going to get very nasty and intensely personal. I wonder what impact that’ll have on the general because they’ll be tearing into each other,” Cani told Vanity Fair, “and I want voters to see that.”

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