Blake Masters, who was once called the “Future of the GOP,” announced on October 26 that he will run to replace U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ). Lesko was first elected to the House in 2018 and announced earlier this year that she would not seek reelection in 2024. Masters was viewed as a likely candidate for the Senate but made the decision to run for the House after discussing the situation with former President Donald Trump and Kari Lake, who is running for Senate in 2024.
Masters said the decision to run for the House was made to avoid a potential contested primary which could allow Democrats to steal a seat in the Senate. Masters explained that Lake is running a solid campaign and has the backing of Trump.
Despite playing nice and avoiding a possible conflict with Lake, she has refused to endorse Masters, instead putting support behind conservative Republican Abraham Hamadeh. Hamadeh announced his candidacy hours after news broke that Lesko would not seek reelection.
The Hamadeh campaign was quick to attack Masters after his announcement that he would run for the 8th District. A spokesperson for the campaign said that Masters “has crawled out from under a rock” to run in a district hours from where the candidate lives in Tuscon and called Masters performance in the 2022 elections “disastrous.”
Masters ran for Senate in 2022 but lost by five percentage points to Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly despite the endorsement of Trump and right-leaning voters in Arizona.
Masters has already secured the endorsement of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH). He said that he expects the more conservative members of the party to support his bid over other candidates. At least 13 names are registered for the upcoming election to replace Lesko.
.@AbrahamHamadeh “had the courage to stay in the foxhole with Kari to expose the corruption in Maricopa County.
— Abe Hamadeh War Room (@AbeWarRoom) October 27, 2023
Masters believes that his brand of conservative politics and his experiences as a tech-venture capitalist will provide a boost to House Republicans’ efforts to offset liberal Democrats who he believes are failing the country. In a post on X, Masters said that he seeks to restore Trump to the White House and force legislators to address the immigration crisis occurring on the southern border.
Arizona went blue in 2022 with the election of Kelly and several other prominent Democrats. The state was once a solid red state but has increasingly turned to Democrats as the population has exploded. 2024 could see a return to Republican representation as the issues with immigration, water, and a general dislike of the Biden administration are at the forefront of voter’s minds heading into election season.