Blake Masters Might Be Getting Cold Feet About A Second Run for Senate in Arizona: Report
Blake Masters, the far-right venture capitalist who ran and lost in a 2022 Senate election in Arizona, is having second thoughts about trying and potentially failing for a second time, The Daily Beast reported Sunday.
Toward the end of August, multiple outlets reported that Masters was virtually guaranteed to enter the race. An Arizona-based GOP strategist who’d spoken to Masters told Politico that he was “pretty decisively in.” Now—not so much.
“Sources close to Masters are doubting whether he will go through with a campaign,” especially if it pits him against former Arizona gubernatorial candidate and election fabulist Kari Lake, who is also close to throwing her hat into the ring, according to the Daily Beast. “The consensus within Arizona GOP circles was that Masters is a lot further from jumping in than it may have seemed,” according to the report.
Lake and Masters ran on far-right “Make America Great Again” platforms in 2022, often appearing together at events. Though both lost their elections, Lake significantly outperformed Masters, garnering nearly 100,000 more votes.
Masters’ reluctance may have something to do with the tepid response news of a possible run has gotten in GOP circles. On Friday, The New York Times reported on a phone call between Masters and former President Donald Trump on September 1, just days after The Wall Street Journal reported that Masters was planning on entering the race. The MAGA leader reportedly told Masters he didn’t think he could win a primary matchup against Lake.
Masters campaigned hard to get Trump’s endorsement in 2022, but Trump lashed out when Masters failed to embrace the former president’s election lies during an October 2022 debate. Trump called him and told him he needed “to go stronger on that one thing” before comparing him unfavorably with Lake. “And if they say, ‘How is your family?’ [Lake] says, ‘The election was rigged and stolen,’” Trump said.
Trump, who is currently leading in the GOP race for the White House, isn’t the only prominent GOP figure who’s appeared lukewarm about a second Masters Senate bid.
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, whom Masters has described as the senator he most agrees with, told Business Insider last week that he would be “really surprised” if the MAGA defender jumped into the race. Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, a fellow beneficiary of campaign funding from far-right billionaire Peter Thiel in 2022, also declined to say whether he’d endorse Masters, as did Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, who both campaigned for Masters during the 2022 election cycle.
“Seems like a nice guy” was about as much as Graham could muster.
Whether Lake and Masters enter the race will have significant implications for the swing-state election to unseat current Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the formerly-Democratic-turned-independent politician who is deeply unpopular in her home state.
Sinema has not yet announced whether she’ll be running for reelection, though she has filed paperwork to do so and has been fundraising aggressively. Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego announced his bid in January, while Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb announced in April that he was running for the Republican nomination.