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Two Weeks From Arizona Senate Primary, GOP Field Has Gone “Scorched-Earth” As Candidates “Slug It Out” In “One Of The Most Expensive” Intra-Party Fights

The Hill: Republicans go scorched-earth in Arizona Senate primary

KTAR: Arizona’s GOP US Senate debate gets heated between Blake Masters, Jim Lamon

With two weeks to go until Arizona’s Senate primary, Republicans have gone “scorched-earth” – the race has become “one of the most expensive” as “the ads have increasingly turned negative”; the candidates “began throwing jabs in the opening minutes” of a recent debate; and Masters and Lamon have faced a wave of brutal headlines highlighting everything from their fringe views to their ties to China

Here’s what you need to know two weeks out:

1. NASTY & EXPENSIVE AD WARS. As the primary enters its final weeks, “the ads have increasingly turned negative” and have turned the intra-party brawl into “one of the most expensive primary campaigns of this cycle.”

  • The Hill: Republicans go scorched-earth in Arizona Senate primary. “Lamon has dumped millions of his own dollars going scorched-earth against Masters over his ties to PayPal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel after Masters scored former President Trump’s endorsement earlier this month. Outside groups backing Masters, like the Club for Growth and a well-heeled super PAC seeded by $13.5 million of Thiel’s money, are responding in kind.”
  • Washington Examiner: GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters painted as antisemitic in new ad. “‘You think you know Blake Masters?’ a voiceover asks. ‘Did you know Blake Masters called World War II unjust and extensively quoted an antisemite who believes Jews and Zionists are bent on world domination? Did you know Blake Masters shared an article calling Israel ‘the North Korea of the Middle East’? Blake Masters even praised the Unabomber and unironically quoted a Nazi war criminal.’”
  • Washington Examiner: New ad takes dig at Blake Masters over border security. “Arizona Senate candidate Jim Lamon is airing a new ad suggesting Republican Blake Masters is a ‘fake’ on border security following reports that he once spoke favorably of ‘unrestricted’ immigration.
  • CBS News: Arizona GOP Senate candidates hold debate as negative ads overtake airwaves“Republicans have already spent nearly $40 million on TV advertising, according to AdImpact, which keeps track of political ad spending. Lamon, who is self-funding his campaign and has pledged to spend $50 million, has poured $7.8 million into TV ads. Masters is backed by Saving Arizona, a super PAC funded by billionaire Peter Thiel that has spent over $8 million on ads this cycle.”

 2. BRUTAL HEADLINES FOR MASTERS, LAMON.

Blake Masters has faced scrutiny for his fringe views – including writings where he “lamented the entry of the United States into the First and Second World Wars [and] approvingly quoted a Nazi war criminal,” statements blaming gun violence on Black people, support for a national abortion ban and allowing states to ban contraception, backing a plan to privatize Social Security and more:

Jim Lamon accepted “billions of dollars in federal help throughout his career” while criticizing government spending and laying off workers, he’s faced criticism for his business ties to the Chinese government, he has “supported a ban on abortion even in cases of rape or incest,” and also wants to privatize Social Security.  

3. ATTACKS FLY ON THE DEBATE STAGE. Arizona GOP Senate candidates “faced off in a tense debate Wednesday night” as Masters and Lamon “began throwing jabs in the opening minutes” and “exchanged sharp words throughout the hour-long debate

  • Newsmax: Lamon, Masters Slug It Out at Newsmax Arizona Debate. “‘We cannot have someone who is inexperienced, someone who is young, who has not gone through the rigors, someone who is a global capitalist from California who, by the way, never answered the question of why did he write what he said about having open borders,’ Lamon told the crowd.”

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