Arizona Republican Blake Masters jumps into race to replace US Rep. Debbie Lesko

Oct 26, 2023, 10:37 AM | Updated: 12:36 pm

Former Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters speaks at a campaign event on Nov. 6, 2022, ...

Former Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters speaks at a campaign event on Nov. 6, 2022, in Tucson, Arizona. Masters announced Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, that he's running for Congress in 2024, joining Abe Hamadeh (second from left) in the race to succeed Rep. Debbie Lesko. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Blake Masters is the latest Arizona Republican candidate who lost a statewide race in 2022 to throw his hat into the ring for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Debbie Lesko.

Masters, who was handily defeated by U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly in the last general election, announced his 2024 campaign Thursday morning in a video posted on social media.

“We are so blessed to call Arizona home. But the sad truth is life is getting harder for too many families in Arizona. Joe Biden’s economy is squeezing our middle class. Our border with Mexico, it’s wide open, it’s chaotic, and it’s lawless,” Masters said in the video.

“Meanwhile, California is just stealing our water based on a treaty that’s over a hundred years old. We need new leaders, people who haven’t spent their lives in politics. That’s why I’m running for Congress to fight for Arizona’s eighth.”

Who else is running for Rep. Debbie Lesko’s seat?

Masters joins Abe Hamadeh, who lost Arizona’s razor-close attorney general race to Democrat Kris Mayes last year, in the pursuit of Lesko’s West Valley seat. Two other candidates, Democrat Greg Whitten and independent Jeremy Spreitzer, previously entered the race.

Neither of the GOP candidates reside in the 8th Congressional District — Masters lives in Tucson and Hamadeh in Scottsdale — but U.S. House members don’t have to live in the district they represent.

Masters won the 2022 GOP Senate primary after emerging from a crowded field on the strength of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement.

He was one of four Republicans running under Trump’s banner who lost statewide races last year, along with Hamadeh, Kari Lake (governor) and Mark Finchem (secretary of state). Unlike the other three, Masters didn’t file any lawsuits to have his loss overturned.

Lake, who is running for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat in 2024, issued an endorsement for Hamadeh within hours of Masters launching his campaign Thursday.

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Arizona Republican Blake Masters jumps into race to replace US Rep. Debbie Lesko