ARIZONA NEWS

Blake Masters says he shifted 2024 focus from Senate to House after talking to Trump, Lake

Oct 27, 2023, 11:06 AM

Donald Trump shakes hands Blake Masters at a Republican campaign rally on Oct. 9, 2022, in Mesa, Ar...

Donald Trump shakes hands Blake Masters at a Republican campaign rally on Oct. 9, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona. Masters, who ran for Senate in 2022, decided to run for the House in 2024 after conversations with Trump and Kari Lake. (File Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(File Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Republican Blake Masters said Friday he talked to Donald Trump and Kari Lake before shifting his 2024 political aspirations from the U.S. Senate to the House.

“I wanted to run for Senate. I want to be in the United States Congress. I feel like I have a lot to contribute and can really, really represent the people well there, but I didn’t want to cause some contested primary,” Masters told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

“President Trump wanted Kari to run, and I think she’s running a hell of a campaign so far, so I look forward to supporting her.”

Lake isn’t returning the favor. She endorsed Abe Hamadeh for the Congressional District 8 seat being vacated by Rep. Debbie Lesko shortly after Masters announced his candidacy Thursday.

Blake Masters responds to Kari Lake endorsing Abe Hamadeh

Masters didn’t seem concerned about Lake’s decision.

“I’m going to have great endorsements, too,” said Masters, who won the GOP nomination for Senate last year on the strength of a Trump endorsement but lost in the general election to incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly. “Congressman Paul Gosar just endorsed me, probably the most conservative members of the House of Representatives will end up endorsing me. I think they’d like me to be their colleague.”

Masters, Lake and Hamadeh, along with losing GOP secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem, ran unsuccessfully as a team last year under Trump’s MAGA banner.

Lake, who lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs in Arizona’s 2022 race for governor, launched her campaign for independent Sen. Kyrsten Simema’s seat Oct. 10. Until then, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb was the only GOP candidate in the contest.

Lake, a formidable force in Arizona Republican politics despite her statewide setback last year, instantly became the primary front-runner.

How Lesko’s decision changed landscape for Arizona Republicans

When Lesko announced Oct. 17 that she wasn’t seeking reelection in her GOP-leaning West Valley district, it opened a new Republican path from Arizona to Washington.

Hamadeh, who lost to Democrat Kris Mayes for state attorney general last year, jumped into the House race within hours of Lesko’s announcement.

After Masters joined the fray Thursday, Hamadeh painted his new rival as a member of the establishment in a social media post.

Masters responded Friday by saying he aims to stay positive with his campaign.

“So they’ve got a good endorsement in Kari, you know, good for him [Hamadeh],” he said. “He’s already going negative in the race. I don’t really believe in that. I’m not going to do that. I’m up in the polls. I’m the one who can raise the resources to beat the establishment candidate in the race, if we get one, so I’m just staying positive and staying focused.”

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Blake Masters says he shifted 2024 focus from Senate to House after talking to Trump, Lake