Trump-backed Republicans win GOP nominations for US Senate and secretary of state in Arizona, CNN projects

Trump-backed Republicans win GOP nominations for US Senate and secretary of state in Arizona, CNN projects

Blake Masters, the onetime capitalist, will secure the Republican nomination for US Senate, while Arizona Republicans have chosen state Rep. Mark Finchem, an election denier, as their nominee to take the helm of the state’s election machinery, CNN projects.

Masters will face Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who was unopposed on his primary Tuesday, in what’s expected to be one of the nation’s most competitive, and expensive, midterm match-ups, with control of the 50-50 Senate on the line.

Masters was chief operating officer of GOP megadonor Peter Thiel’s investment firm, and his campaign was backed by more than $15 million in spending by Thiel.

Masters, who has spread lies about the results of the 2020 election and accused Democrats of trying to “change the demographics” of the country, defeated businessman Jim Lamon and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, among others, in the GOP primary Tuesday.

Finchem is aiming to be the chief election officer in a state that conducts its voting largely by mail and has been the target of a series of conspiracy theories advanced by Trump and his allies, who falsely allege that the 2020 election was stolen from the former President . The Arizona secretary of state is the second-highest executive state’s official and first in line to succeed the governor, as the lieutenant governor.

Finchem was a member of the far-right “Oath Keepers” in 2014 and was an organizer of the “Stop the Steal” movement spurred by Trump’s lies about election fraud.

He’ll face the winner of the Democratic primary between Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and state Rep. Reginald Bolding.

Finchem has said the state legislature should be able to overturn the will of voters in presidential elections — a position that, if embraced by Republicans after November’s election, could lead to a crisis in the 2024 election in one of the nation’s most competitive battleground states .

Finchem believes the legislature should be able to overturn voters’ will. Two other Republican candidates in the race supported stricter election laws but rejected the kinds of lies about election fraud that Finchem has advanced.

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