Blake Masters, a Republican who lost to Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) in the 2022 midterm elections, announced on Thursday that he’s running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, which includes suburbs north and west of Phoenix.
“I’m running for Congress, to fight for Arizona’s 8th,” Mr. Masters said in a post on X. “Biden has failed. We need Trump back. We need to stop inflation, Build the Wall, avoid WW3, and secure Arizona’s water future. We need to fight for our families.”
His announcement came about a week after Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), 64, said she would retire at the end of her current term to prioritize spending time with her family.
Mr. Masters, a tech entrepreneur previously endorsed by former President Donald Trump, said in a statement on his campaign website that he’ll be tough on border security amid unprecedented levels of illegal immigration and will fight the fentanyl crisis. He also promised to make life for Arizonans “affordable again” and protect the right to freedom of expression.
“The Joe Biden economy has not been kind to Arizona families. People are struggling with increasing costs of living, high gas and grocery prices, soaring tuition, and unpredictable health care costs,” Mr. Masters said.
“We are going to keep our promises and protect Social Security and Medicare,” he added. “We are going to fight the overregulation that fuels inflation. We are going to restore American energy dominance and bring back high-paying manufacturing jobs.”
On Oct. 27, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) endorsed the venture capitalist’s campaign in a post on X, saying he believes Mr. Masters is “the conservative fighter we need in the House to combat the extreme liberal policies of Joe Biden and to put the GOP establishment in its place.”
“I can’t wait to team up with him when I’m in the House. Proud to have his trust and endorsement,” Mr. Masters said in response.
For most of his adult life, Mr. Masters worked for tech mogul and GOP megadonor Peter Thiel, who donated the vast majority of Mr. Masters’ $15.2 million super PAC funds during his 2022 U.S. Senate bid.
Mr. Masters’ congressional announcement ends speculation that he would enter another U.S. Senate run for the seat currently occupied by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), who left the Democratic Party to become an independent in December and has yet to announce whether she will seek another term.
Other GOP Candidates
Several Republicans have already announced their candidacy in what is set to become a crowded race in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. Other prominent GOP contenders include Abe Hamadeh, an avid supporter of President Trump who announced on Oct. 17 that he’ll be running for Ms. Lesko’s seat.
Mr. Hamadeh previously ran in the general election for Arizona attorney general against current Attorney General Kris Mayes, to whom he lost by just under 300 votes. He was the first candidate to announce he was running for Ms. Lesko’s position.
U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake, who officially announced that she would be running for the seat currently held by Ms. Sinema earlier this month, swiftly endorsed Mr. Hamadeh after he announced his bid.
Shortly after Mr. Masters announced his bid on Oct. 26, Mr. Hamadeh touted Ms. Lake’s endorsement in a post on X, adding an apparent dig at Mr. Masters that says: “While others catered to the establishment and hid after the election we continue to fight like hell for Arizona.”
Ms. Lake, Mr. Masters, and Mr. Hamadeh have a history of campaigning together. They appeared shoulder-to-shoulder at a number of events during Ms. Lake’s Arizona governor’s race and Mr. Masters’ U.S. Senate race in 2022.
Although the primary is not until next year, early polling data conducted by Data Orbital shows Mr. Masters in the lead with 33.2 percent and Mr. Hamadeh at 18.4 percent. More than 30 percent remained undecided.
The poll was conducted from Oct. 19 to Oct. 21 among 450 likely 2024 Republican primary election voters in Arizona. The survey, which measured support for potential GOP candidates in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, was published on Oct. 25, a day before Mr. Masters officially announced he was running for Ms. Lesko’s seat.
Other potential candidates listed in the survey included Arizona Speaker of the House Ben Toma at 6.8 percent and state Sen. Anthony Kern at 5.5 percent.
From NTD News