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Blake Masters, Trump Pick Backed by Billionaire Peter Thiel, Wins Arizona GOP Senate Primary

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Tech entrepreneur Blake Masters, whose campaign was sponsored by PayPal Founder Peter Thiel, triumphed soundly in Arizona’s GOP Senate primary on Tuesday.

As of Wednesday morning, with roughly 90 percent of ballots counted, Masters had secured 39 percent percent of the vote compared to businessman Jim Lamon’s 29 percent, Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich’s 18 percent, and retired major general Michael McGuire’s 9 percent. Masters will face off against incumbent Democratic senator Mark Kelly, a former Navy Seal and NASA astronaut, in November.

By the latest polling numbers, Masters was the favorite to win, leading the race by a significant margin, according to a July 31 survey from Emerson College.

A longtime mentee and associate of Thiel, Masters received a generous campaign donation of $10 million from the investor after announcing his bid. Besides supporting his former student, Thiel has financially backed a number of GOP rising stars, including “New Right” firebrand and Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D.Vance and Missouri attorney general and Republican Senate candidate Eric Schmitt, who won his primary election on Tuesday as well.

Masters gained notice for the way he embraced elements of the populism espoused by former president Trump, favoring protectionism over free trade, border hawkishness over lax border enforcement, and foreign policy restraint over interventionism.

In one ad he ran, Masters said the slogan, “In America, you should be able to raise a family on one single income,” hinting at a socio-economic insecurity facing the American middle class which his conservative vision would seek to rectify.

However, Masters’ policy experimentation and flirtation with 2020 election trutherism alienated many old-school Republicans, as well as Democrats. In an ad following the Arizona election audit that confirmed Biden’s victory in the state, Masters declared that “Trump won in 2020” and that “election integrity is the most important issue, and we’ve got to do so much better if we want to keep this country great.”

In June, Masters secured the endorsement of the former president, who called the candidate “one of the most successful businessmen and investors in the Country” and a “great modern-day thinker.”

“Blake is Strong on Border Security, in particular, the disastrous Southern Border where people are pouring into the U.S. by the millions, and destroying our Country,” Trump said, adding that “he will Cut Taxes and Regulations, be Tough on Crime, and Support our Military and our Vets. Blake will fight for our totally under-siege Second Amendment, and WIN!”

Masters’s fellow Trump-devotee Mark Finchem won the race for Arizona secretary of state on Tuesday. Finchem, who has enthusiastically endorsed Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, arguing that Arizona’s Biden electors should be “decertified,” will now be responsible for overseeing the 2024 presidential election in a key battleground state.

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