Trump endorses Masters in Arizona Senate GOP primary
Former President Trump endorsed venture capitalist Blake Masters in the GOP Senate primary in Arizona on Thursday, siding with tech billionaire and Republican mega-donor Peter Thiel, who has already spent millions of dollars to boost Masters.
In a lengthy statement announcing his endorsement, Trump praised Masters as a “great modern-day thinker” and “one of the most successful businessmen and investors in the Country.” He also made clear another reason for his endorsement: Masters’s support for Trump’s false claim that widespread voter fraud robbed him of reelection in 2020.
“Arizona is a State where the 2020 Election was Rigged and Stolen, and a very thorough audit proved it,” Trump said. “Blake knows that the ‘Crime of the Century’ took place, he will expose it and also, never let it happen again.”
Masters is one of five candidates vying for the GOP nomination to take on Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) in November. Others in the field include Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, businessman Jim Lamon, retired Air Force Major General Mick McGuire and former state Rep. Justin Olson.
In announcing his support for Masters, Trump also attacked Brnovich, whom he called a “disappointment” and accused of not taking more aggressive action to reverse his 2020 electoral loss in Arizona.
Trump has teased an endorsement in the race for weeks, and Masters appeared to be the likely pick.
The former president was said to be nearing an announcement of his support last month, but reportedly delayed making the endorsement after his preferred candidate in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary, celebrity physician Mehmet Oz, failed to clinch the nomination outright. Oz is currently locked in a recount battle against former hedge fund CEO David McCormick.
Masters isn’t the only Thiel-linked candidate to receive Trump’s blessing. The former president endorsed another associate of the billionaire venture capitalist and PayPal co-founder earlier this year, tapping author J.D. Vance in the Ohio GOP Senate primary.
Vance clinched the Republican nomination in Ohio last month, setting him up to take on Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) in the November general election.
While Trump’s endorsement is a major boost to Masters’ campaign, he has also benefited heavily from the support of Thiel, who has pumped more than $13 million into the race in support of Masters.
The Arizona primaries are set for Aug. 2.
Updated at 3:43 p.m.