While President Donald Trump has not yet formally endorsed Republican Blake Masters in his campaign against incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in the Arizona Senate race coming up next year, he is hosting a fundraiser for him at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on Wednesday.
A person familiar with Trump told Politico last week that Trump sometimes attends candidate events held on Trump properties before making a formal endorsement. The fundraiser will cost $2,900 for each attendee, and couples raising at least $25,000 before the event will have a photo opportunity with Trump.
The high-powered host committee includes several investors and entrepreneurs in the tech industry, including Peter Thiel, Joe Lonsdale, and David Sacks. Masters runs Thiel’s tech investment firm, Thiel Capital, and his nonprofit, Thiel Foundation.
Thiel has donated $10 million to the PACs that support Masters and J.D. Vance. Vance, the bestselling author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” runs for Senate in Ohio next year and works professionally with Thiel.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich currently leads the Arizona GOP Senate primary. Masters’ PAC has been running ads claiming that Brnovich is lax on security at the southern border, a top election issue in Arizona.
Trump has been publicly critical of Brnovich for not supporting the audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County in his role as state attorney general. Trump has previously stated that if Brnovich doesn’t “put himself in gear, no Arizona Republican will vote for him” in the upcoming Senate election.
Masters’ advertising campaign may be showing early results. An internal poll administered by the Saving Arizona PAC shows that Bronvich’s unfavorable rating has shot up to 20 percent from 9 percent previously. Of the Republican primary voters who said they had seen the Masters advertising, 32 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Brnovich for the Senate.
Since August, support for Masters has tripled to 14 percent, and a Trump endorsement would certainly push his numbers much higher.