Blake Masters is planning to launch another Arizona Senate bid. | Matt York/AP Photo
Blake Masters is making plans to launch another Arizona Senate bid, potentially as soon as next week, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Masters did not reply to a request for comment. Masters won the GOP nomination last year but lost to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in a critical swing state.
Former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s advisers say she is expected to announce a Senate campaign in early fall, though some Republicans are skeptical Lake and Masters would run for the same seat. Pinal County sheriff Mark Lamb is another GOP candidate.
Barrett Marson, an Arizona-based GOP strategist, said he talked to Masters a few months ago and he “was pretty decisively in.” However, he said, Masters had been waiting for Lake to decide whether to run.
“I think he is now under the impression that maybe Kari Lake isn’t going to run, because I’ll tell you if Lake and Blake are both in, he is wasting his time,” he said. “They occupy the same lane. They have nearly the same name. And she has much better positive name ID among Republicans than Blake does.”
“If Kari Lake runs, there is no lane for Blake Masters,” he added.
This year’s Senate race could be much weirder than last year, with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema potentially running as an independent — though she hasn’t yet indicated her plans — and Rep. Ruben Gallego running for the Democratic nomination.
And Republicans could face a tough primary between Masters, Lake and Lamb; GOP leaders have shown no preference among those candidates. Last year, Washington Republicans eventually soured on Masters’ candidacy as conservatives pushed for more funding in his race, a sign the party is divided on the kind of nominee that can win in Arizona. And traditional GOP candidates like former Gov. Doug Ducey have passed on the race.