Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters is getting a boost from Donald Trump, as the former president seeks to cement his kingmaker status in a state he lost in 2020.
On Wednesday, Trump’s super PAC, MAGA Inc., released a new ad against Masters’ opponent, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, accusing him and other Democrats of “lying through their teeth” about conditions along the U.S.-Mexico border. Shared exclusively with CNN, the ad is part of a new seven-figure ad run by Trump’s super PAC in Arizona 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 tie opponents to Biden while his approval ratings remain low.
“Mark Kelly voted with Biden almost 100 percent and turned our border over to the cartels. Now, fentanyl is pouring into Arizona and overdose deaths are on the rise. Joe Biden, Mark Kelly, open the borders, lose your life,” the ad reads.
Trump’s team has already spent $1.8 million on the Arizona Senate race, according to data from AdImpact. A person close to Trump said the former president is willing to invest heavily in the battleground state if he believes he can help carry the Masters to the finish line in the final two weeks of the midterm race.
“President Trump continues to keep the pressure on Mark Kelly and Joe Biden, highlighting their utter failure to secure the border and their grim history of letting cartels and fentanyl flood into our communities. Blake Masters will bring real change to Washington and stop the onslaught of the Democrats’ radical agenda,” he said. says 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 Trump endorsed in the GOP primary but has struggled for months to attract significant funding from the Republican Party’s campaign apparatus. The Senate Leadership Fund, a group aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, canceled $9.6 million in Arizona television ads last month and has refused to reinvest in the race within two weeks of Election Day.
Two people familiar with the matter said conservative tech mogul Peter Thiel, a longtime friend of Masters and Ohio GOP Senate candidate JD Vance, has made around-the-clock contributions to bolster Masters and has reached out to Trump’s team. Thiel previously asked SLF to match its investment, although a person familiar with the matter said the group has struggled to find financing to do so.
CNN reported Tuesday that Trump plans to return to Arizona before the Nov. 8 election, although his team has not finalized his remaining rally schedule. The former president was last in the state on Oct. 9 to campaign for Masters and Republican Gov. Kari Lake.