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Tech executive Blake Masters has joined the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in 2022, launching a campaign that’s expected to get a big financial boost from his boss, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and former Trump advisor Peter Thiel.
Masters is the chief operating officer of Thiel Capital, and president of the nonprofit Thiel Foundation.
The Tucson native joins a crowded and likely competitive GOP field. He’ll face Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, solar company CEO Jim Lamon and former Arizona National Guard head Michael “Mick” McGuire in the Republican primary.
The GOP nominee will face Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly, who won a special election last year to serve out the final two years of the term originally won by John McCain in 2016. The winner of next year’s race will serve a full, six-year term in the Senate.
In an announcement video released Monday morning, Masters warned of an America that’s changing for the worse.
“The country I grew up in was optimistic. People thought all you had to do was go to school and work hard, and you’d be able to buy a house and raise a family. But it hasn’t worked out that way,” the 35-year-old Masters said. “Today, for the first time, young people in America expect to be worse off than their parents. Our leaders have shipped millions of jobs to China. And the internet, which was supposed to give us an awesome future, is instead being used to shut us up.”
Americans can’t take their country for granted, Masters said, and must fight for it against “a media that lies to us, schools that teach our kids to hate our country, and corporations that have gotten so big they think they’re bigger than America.” He described President Joe Biden’s administration as a “train wreck” while “Mark Kelly is nowhere to be found.”
“It’s time to put this country first. We need to enforce the law and we need to finish the wall. We’ve got to build an economy where you can afford to raise a family on one, single income. And instead of pretending that we can somehow fix foreign countries, we’ve got to take care of each other, right here at home,” Masters said.
Masters’s campaign is expected to benefit from his close relationship with his ally Thiel, a billionaire entrepreneur who co-founded PayPal and other companies. In April, Thiel created Saving Arizona PAC to aid Masters’ Senate campaign. The super PAC has not yet filed a campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission, but Politico reported that Thiel had committed $10 million to the pro-Masters independent expenditure committee. Thiel wrote an identical check to a super PAC supporting author J.D. Vance in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Ohio.
In 2014, Masters and Thiel co-wrote the bestselling book “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.”
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