Arizona’s Republican primary race for senate heating up

A Maricopa County Election Department sign indicating where people can go to vote.
A Maricopa County Election Department sign indicating where people can go to vote.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 7:00 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Over the past few months, the Republican Senate primary fight has seen millions of dollars spent on non-stop attacks in a race that still appears to be up for grabs. Five Republicans are on the primary ballot, but realistically the race has narrowed to three viable candidates.

Wealthy businessman Jim Lamon has spent millions accusing venture capitalist Blake Masters of shilling for big tech. Outside groups supporting Masters responded with commercials of their own, trying to label Lamon a “liberal” who supports communist China. Attorney General Mark Brnovich is still in the middle of this contest but hasn’t had the necessary cash to keep up with the all-out media blitz of his main competitors. One of the most important moments in the campaign happened earlier this month when former President Donald Trump endorsed Masters. In announcing his support for Masters, Trump ripped Brnovich for not doing more to investigate the false claims of election fraud in the 2020 election.

In a statement following the endorsement, Lamon said he was disappointed and reminded the public that he was a “staunch supporter of President Trump’s America First policies.” Arizona pollster Mike Noble said the 45th president’s stamp of approval could play a significant role in the outcome of a race where there is no clear favorite. With few major policy differences between the top candidates, Noble also said that, in part, explains the negative tone of the overall race. All three candidates are focused on getting tough on the border, improving the economy, and implementing election reforms.

“Really, they’ve struggled to break out of the race, so really that personality who they’re really tied to or endorsed by is going to be the difference-maker,’’ Noble explained.

The winner will move on to face incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly in the November general election. The outcome of that race will help determine which party controls the Senate, which has made this one of the most pivotal contests in the country.