Trump reportedly delays plan to endorse Masters in Arizona’s US Senate race
PHOENIX – Former President Donald Trump is reportedly tapping the brakes on a plan to endorse venture capitalist Blake Masters in Arizona’s hotly contested Republican U.S. Senate primary race.
A month ago, Trump issued a statement saying he was going to announce his pick for Arizona “in the not too distant future.”
Trump, who has been positioning himself as the party’s kingmaker through his endorsements as he ponders another run for president in 2024, criticized Mark Brnovich in the statement, apparently eliminating the state attorney general from contention.
On the strength of his name recognition as a two-term state officeholder, Brnovich was the early front-runner in the five-candidate field. Political newcomers Masters and Jim Lamon, however, have surged in the polls to essentially turn the Aug. 2 primary into a three-way race.
On Thursday, CNN reported that Trump was on the verge of endorsing Masters, but that changed when last week’s Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate primary didn’t play out to his liking.
The race between Trump-backed Mehmet Oz and David McCormick is likely heading to an automatic recount with most of the ballots tallied and Oz holding a razor-thin lead.
Unnamed Trump advisers told CNN that the former president might now be reluctant to make endorsements in others races without a clear-cut front-runner, including Senate primaries in Arizona, Alabama and Missouri.
“He’ll be a lot more selective for sure,” a former Trump campaign official told the news network.
The winner of Arizona’s Republican primary will try to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in a race seen as key to GOP efforts to gain control of the Senate.