ICYMI: The Hill: “Arizona GOP Braces for Volatile Lake-Masters Match-Up”
ARIZONA – Following last week’s reporting that Blake Masters – rejected last year by normal Arizonans for his dangerous, far out of the mainstream views like praising the Unabomber – plans to enter the Senate race, Arizona Republicans are facing an “ugly primary fight,” “collision course,” and “volatile match-up.”
By: Julia Mueller
September 3, 2023
- Arizona Republicans are bracing for the possibility of an extraordinarily volatile Senate primary in which Kari Lake and Blake Masters, two Trump-aligned candidates who both lost statewide bids last fall, could be among the competitors.
- Both stoked controversies in their last bids for offices, and a win by either would leave some Republicans worried about their chances in November.
- This is obviously going to be the race to watch across the nation,” said Arizona-based Republican strategist Lorna Romero Ferguson. “I think this race will really set the tone of: ‘OK, what is the path forward for Arizona?’”
- Lake and Masters were each endorsed by former President Trump in their races last year, and while the party hoped the pair would be part of a “red wave” of Republican wins during the midterms, both candidates lost the sought-after Arizona seats.
- Lake and Masters appeared on last year’s campaign trail together, but if they both get in the race for Sinema’s post, they’ll have to differentiate themselves and fight for votes in the primary, which could lead to the eventual winner heading into the general election considerably weakened.
- “Obviously it’s not going to be a kumbaya when they’re competitors. And I do think that you will see Kari Lake going after [Masters] pretty vigorously, because obviously he’s going to be a threat,” Ferguson said.
- A Lake-Masters-Lamb primary could prove a headache for the party. Though many think Lake would be the front-runner, some Republicans worry the controversial Trump-aligned candidate could cost them the Senate come the general election.
Here’s what they’re saying about the Arizona GOP’s impending nasty primary:
- Arizona Republic: Blake Masters said to be set to enter Senate race, signaling Republican battles ahead. “Masters’ potential reentry into politics caps a fitful period for Arizona Republicans. The party absorbed other dispiriting statewide defeats, including Lake’s gubernatorial loss, seen election denialism remain in the headlines and the state party committee has run on financial vapors.”
- Arizona Republic’s Laurie Roberts: Kari Lake vs. Blake Masters for U.S. Senate? Oh, it’s on (already). “It’s no surprise that Blake Masters will run for U.S. Senate. That was clear last week, when Kari Lake began sharpening her knives…Politicos tell me Lake’s team has been whispering that Masters isn’t a team player, that he’s just in it for himself and not properly shouting to the heavens about election fraud.”
- Axios: Two Trump favorites poised for ugly primary fight. “Blake Masters is readying a GOP Senate primary campaign that would put him on a potential collision course with Kari Lake, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.”
- New York Magazine: A MAGA War Between Blake Masters and Kari Lake Is Brewing in Arizona. ”Unsuccessful 2022 Senate candidate Blake Masters, a close associate of Peter Thiel’s and purveyor of a distinctive brand of creepy political ads, is about to jump into the 2024 race, according to Politico.”
- Vanity Fair: Watch Out, Kari Lake, Blake Masters Is Going for Another Senate Run. “Arizona’s US Senate race has a considerable chance of becoming the weirdest contest of 2024 […] Masters and Lake were close allies last cycle, both backed by Trump and running on his informal ‘America First’ slate. But Lake has already fired the first shot in their expected primary matchup.”
- Washington Examiner: “Blake Masters’s expected Senate run catches some Arizona Republicans off guard.” “Now, the possibility of them running head-to-head in a GOP primary has added a new wrinkle in what is already expected to be an ugly fight in a battleground state […] ‘I think this primary is pretty unsettled, this isn’t a slam dunk for any of these candidates,’ the Arizona Republican political strategist said.”
- Politico: “And Republicans could face a tough primary between Masters, Lake and Lamb…”
- The Messenger: “Masters’s decision to run again puts him on a collision course with Kari Lake, the 2022 gubernatorial nominee who lost to Gov. Katie Hobbs by around 17,000 votes […] She is reportedly leaning towards launching a Senate bid. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb is the only one major Republican who has launched a bid.”
- The Daily Beast: “A race for the Republican nomination in the battleground state could see Masters squaring off with Kari Lake, the failed gubernatorial candidate who has indicated she is weighing a run for the Senate.”