Arizona’s GOP US Senate debate gets heated between Blake Masters, Jim Lamon
PHOENIX — Three of Arizona’s Republican candidates for U.S. Senate during a debate on Wednesday evening agreed on various issues while differing on the type of qualifications it will take to succeed in office.
The debate, televised on Newsmax, was attended by political newcomer Blake Masters, businessman Jim Lamon and former Arizona National Guard leader Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who trails Masters and Lamon in the most recent poll after leading earlier in the year, declined to attend.
Masters, who jumped up 16 points from April to July to lead the race, according to the OH Predictive Insights survey released last week, frequently cited his endorsement from former President Donald Trump as why he should be the Republican candidate.
Lamon, who has been relatively stable in the polling, put a spotlight on his business history and endorsements from various law enforcement agencies.
The two leading candidates began throwing jabs in the opening minutes of the hourlong debate, with Lamon accusing Masters of previously being for open borders.
“The border guys know a fake when they see it,” Lamon said, who put his support behind Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy and building the wall to help fix issues at the southern border.
Masters responded “Jim Lamon ladies and gentleman, keeping it classy,” before bringing up his endorsement from the former president.
“President Trump endorsed me because he knows that I’ll be the best on the border,” Masters said. “I’m the only one bold enough to say that I think Joe Biden and (Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro) Mayorkas deserve to be impeached for the dereliction of duty that they’ve shown at the southern border.”
“My pledge to you is to not vote to give Biden a damn thing, and I will whip the Republican votes to make sure that we block his agenda, unless and until we get some border security.”
Masters fired back at Lamon again during a discussion about inflation and energy prices, saying Trump trusts him to re-implement his America First energy policies and stop reliance on foreign countries.
“He (Trump) met with Jim Lamon, he thought he was a bozo,” Masters said. “I’m the America First candidate. That’s why I’m endorsed.”
The comments followed Lamon saying business leaders are needed in Washington and that there was only “one business guy on this stage who’s built billion dollar companies and tens of thousands of American jobs on no debt.”
Lamon, who focused on cutting spending to help solve the issue, responded by accusing Masters of being owned by big tech companies.
“Look no farther than who’s holding the purse for this guy,” Lamon said. “$17 million dollars coming out of big tech California globalist guy who will owe that too.
“I owe nothing except to the American people and taxpayer because it’s my money and also the great donations across this great state. Nobody is going to control me or own me, he’s owned right now and will be in the U.S. Senate.”
Masters, after bringing up his Trump endorsement, responded by saying Lamon is using the same political consultant who ran Martha McSally’s losing effort against Democrat Mark Kelly in 2020.
“These guys know how to lose Arizona, I’m going to stay positive and laser-focused on the issues,” Masters said. “That’s why President Trump endorsed me.”
The two also sparred in a heated exchange over the amount of time spent in Arizona during a topic focused on crime.
McGuire, who leaned on his leadership background, was largely unscathed from attacks while standing between Masters and Lamon on the stage.
“I’m not sure if self funding from a California billionaire or yourself is better, but the truth of the matter is we’ve never had a self-funder elected statewide in this state in over 100 years,” McGuire said. “This state elects leaders.”
McGuire said the No. 1 issue come the November general election will be problems with economic security, which he says has been caused by environmental extremists that he will take on.
The three candidates throughout the debate also discussed a variety of other topics, such as big tech, China and whether amnesty would be provided for those in the country illegally.
All three agreed big tech needs to be regulated, China is an enemy to the United States and amnesty should not be provided to those in the country illegally.
It was also agreed gun issues facing the country is a problem with crime and not guns, the electoral college should continue and there should be no tax subsides for electric cars as the country can’t be picking winners and losers.