Arizona GOP Senate hopeful Blake Masters gets a boost from Donald Trump’s super PAC

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Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters is getting a boost from Donald Trump as the former President looks to cement his kingmaker status in a state he lost in 2020.

On Wednesday, Trump’s super PAC, MAGA Inc., launched a blistering new ad against Masters’ opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, accusing him and other Democrats of “lying through their teeth” about current conditions at the US-Mexico border. Shared exclusively with CNN, the ad is part of a new seven-figure ad buy that Trump’s super PAC is running in Arizona over the next week.

The 30-second spot casts Kelly as a blind supporter of the Biden administration’s immigration policies, deploying a strategy used by several Republican candidates who have worked to link their opponents to Biden while his approval ratings remain low.

“Mark Kelly voted with Biden nearly 100 percent of the time and surrendered our border to the cartels. Now, fentanyl is pouring into Arizona and overdose deaths are surging. Joe Biden, Mark Kelly, open borders, lost lives,” declares the ad.

Trump’s group has already spent $1.8 million in the Arizona Senate contest, according to data from AdImpact. A person close to Trump said the former President is willing to invest heavily in the battleground state during the final two weeks of the midterm race if he believes it will help carry Masters over the finish line.

Republican candidate for US Senate Blake Masters speaks as former President Donald Trump looks on at a campaign rally at Legacy Sports USA on October 09, 2022 in Mesa, Arizona.

“President Trump continues to keep the pressure on Mark Kelly and Joe Biden, highlighting their absolute failure at securing the border and dismal record of allowing cartels and fentanyl to flood into our communities. Blake Masters will bring real change to Washington and stop the assault from the radical Democrat agenda,” said a MAGA Inc. spokesperson.

The former President’s latest investment in the Arizona contest comes as polls show an increasingly tight race between Kelly and Masters, who was endorsed by Trump in the GOP primary but has struggled to attract major funding from the Republican Party’s election apparatus in the months since. Senate Leadership Fund, a group aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, canceled $9.6 million in television advertisements in Arizona last month and has declined to reinvest in the race two weeks out from Election Day.

Two people familiar with the matter said conservative tech mogul Peter Thiel, a longtime friend of Masters and Ohio GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance, has been weighing an eleventh-hour contribution to bolster Masters and has been in contact with Trump’s team. Thiel had previously asked SLF to match his investment, though one of the people familiar with the matter said the group has struggled to find the funding to do so.

As CNN reported Tuesday, Trump is eyeing a return to Arizona before the November 8 elections, though his team has yet to finalize his remaining rally schedule. The former President was last in the state on October 9 to campaign for Masters and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake.

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