Trump discouraged potential Arizona GOP senate candidate from running — after endorsing him
Despite far-right Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake's loss last November — and consistent claims that she did not, in fact, lose — the MAGA supporter is considering running once again. If she does, the GOPer could potentially be rivaled by venture capitalist and failed U.S. senate candidate Blake Masters.
According to a Friday, September 8 New York Times report by Jonathan Swan and Maggie Haberman, ex-President Donald Trump called Masters on Sunday, September 3 to discourage him from running for the senate seat.
Per the report, Trump's phone call telling Masters that he didn't believe the "political newcomer" could stand a chance against Lake came as Masters "was preparing to make a second run for the Senate in the swing state after his loss to Senator Mark Kelly, the Democratic incumbent, in 2022."
Swan and Haberman report:
Mr. Trump's delivery of this blunt political assessment — which could indicate that Mr. Trump may endorse Ms. Lake if she has a relatively open path to the nomination — is at odds with Mr. Trump's posture so far this political cycle, in which he has shown more restraint in endorsing candidates than he had in the 2022 midterms.
The reporters also note that Trump endorsed both Masters and Lake last year.
Swan and Haberman also note:
The call between the former president and Mr. Masters was described by two people familiar with it who insisted on anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the private conversation. One of the people said Mr. Trump had not definitively ruled out supporting Mr. Masters's candidacy and that in conversations with others, Mr. Trump had left open the possibility that Ms. Lake might not run.
According to the report, Masters has said to associates he believes "another 'bloody' primary would hurt the party's chances of winning the seat — and that a battle against Ms. Lake would surely be bloody, according to the person close to him."
One person familiar with the mayor told Swan and Haberman that "Masters had seriously considered announcing his candidacy shortly after Labor Day but that no plans were set."
The New York Times' full report is available at this link (subscription required).
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