Tech entrepreneur Blake Masters — who came up short in his bid to unseat Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in 2022 — is expected to again seek GOP nomination for Senate in Arizona, according to a report from Politico. This time, Masters will be hoping to unseat Senator Krysten Sinema, an independent who left the Democratic Party in late 2022.
Kari Lake — who was narrowly defeated by Katie Hobbs in the state’s gubernatorial election this past fall — has also been rumored as a potential candidate. Some Arizona Republicans are skeptical that both Lake and Masters would enter the same race, however.
Barrett Marson, an Arizona-based GOP strategist, recalled a recent conversation with the candidate and described him as “pretty decisively in,” according to Politico. “I think he is now under the impression that maybe Kari Lake isn’t going to run, because I’ll tell you if Lake and Blake are both in, he is wasting his time,” he said. “They occupy the same lane. They have nearly the same name. And she has much better positive name ID among Republicans than Blake does.”
“If Kari Lake runs, there is no lane for Blake Masters,” he added.
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) August 30, 2023
Masters’ previous bid to unseat Mark Kelly featured a number of clashes with Republican Senate Leadership and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The McConnell-controlled Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) super PAC decided to cancel $10 million in ads of support of Masters despite the competitiveness of the race, a move that was heavily criticized after Republicans narrowly failed to gain control of the chamber in 2022.
“We’re leaving the door wide open in Arizona but we want to move additional resources to other offensive opportunities that have become increasingly competitive, as well as an unexpected expense in Ohio,” SLF president Steven Law said at the time. “We’re leaving the door wide open in Arizona but we want to move additional resources to other offensive opportunities that have become increasingly competitive, as well as an unexpected expense in Ohio,” he added.