Former President Donald Trump has been quicker to involve himself in some key Senate races than others in 2022; in certain states, Trump has taken his time in assessing which Republican candidate deserves his support. One such race is in Arizona, one of the states Trump is particularly interested in as a center of the 2020 election controversy. Several candidates are competing for the nomination, and Trump has announced that an endorsement is coming soon.
Trump chooses more candidates
Trump made early decisions in Pennsylvania and Georgia. Herschel Walker in Georgia is well-positioned to contest the general election, but Sean Parnell’s candidacy in Pennsylvania collapsed after serious allegations of domestic violence emerged.
Trump recently chose celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz as his second choice. Dr. Oz seeks to become America’s first Muslim senator, but his Turkish citizenship and doubts about his conservatism have made him controversial in Pennsylvania.
Another controversial pick was J.D. Vance, who earned the Trump endorsement last week in Ohio. Vance is decidedly on the populist wing of the Republican Party and was not the frontrunner when Trump announced his decision.
The Vance endorsement clearly points to one option as the most likely in Arizona, where the Republican nominee will be seeking to unseat Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly in what is expected to be an especially strong year for the GOP.
Businessman Jim Lamon and Attorney General Mark Brnovich are the top polling candidates, but much of the electorate remains undecided and a significant portion of those undecided voters are likely waiting to see who Trump endorses.
It will not be Brnovich, who Trump vocally dislikes. Lamon is a serious contender as the current frontrunner, but Trump has not exclusively chosen frontrunners elsewhere.
Arizona endorsement coming soon
Trump’s choice will most likely be venture capitalist Blake Masters, who now sits in third place in the polls and is the youngest of the potential nominees.
Masters comes from the same circle as J.D. Vance and Senator Josh Hawley, a circle that is attempting to create a new variety of national conservatism with the support of billionaire Peter Thiel and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Trump has now endorsed Vance and he held a fundraiser with Masters earlier in the race, so he is clearly very interested in this rising faction within the Republican Party.
By throwing his support behind candidates like Blake Masters and J.D. Vance in Arizona and Ohio, Trump hopes to elect future allies and display his influence within the GOP by showing that his endorsements can reshape races.
Hawley, Thiel, and Carlson have actively encouraged Trump to embrace Vance and Masters and they were apparently so convincing that the former president was willing to overlook Vance’s past criticism of him as a candidate in 2016.
Donald Trump has never been an especially predictable man, but all signs currently point towards a coming endorsement for Blake Masters in Arizona.