Attorney General Mark Brnovich is running for U.S. Senate, joining a growing field for what could be a contentious fight for the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly next year.
“Trust is the cornerstone of our republic. But Arizonans have lost it — and for good reason,” Brnovich said in a press statement announcing his candidacy. “We entrust our elected leaders to protect our freedom and they’ve failed us… What we have is a real vacuum of leadership.”
In an announcement video on his website, Brnovich touted his record suing the Arizona Board of Regents over tuition rates, taking on tech giants like Facebook and Google, fighting the Biden administration over border security, and defending election laws such as Arizona’s ban on third-party ballot collection, known to critics as ballot harvesting.
“Every day I go to work and fight for the people of Arizona, standing up for the men and women against government overreach, standing up against woke corporations and board rooms that try to tell us how to live our lives while shipping jobs overseas, taking on the crony capitalists and standing up for election integrity,” Brnovich said. “I’ve defended religious liberty, protecting our border and always defending freedom.”
Brnovich joins a field that already includes Jim Lamon, the founder of the solar energy company DepCom Power, and Michael “Mick” McGuire, the recently retired adjutant general of the Arizona National Guard. Blake Masters, the chief operating officer at Thiel Capital, is also expected to enter the race with the backing of his boss, tech mogul Peter Thiel.
One other challenge that Brnovich faces is that he has drawn the ire of former President Donald Trump, who last month lashed out at the attorney general as “lackluster” because he has refused to back Trump’s false claims that he lost the 2020 election in Arizona and elsewhere because of rampant voter fraud.
“He is always on television promoting himself, but never mentions the Crime of the Century, that took place during the 2020 Presidential Election, which was Rigged and Stolen,” Trump said in a written statement on May 24. “Arizona was a big part and Brnovich must put himself in gear, or no Arizona Republican will vote for him in the upcoming elections. They will never forget, and neither will the great Patriots of our Nation!”
Shortly after the 2020 election, Brnovich appeared on Fox Business and said the allegations of fraud were unfounded conspiracy theories. He attributed the results — Trump’s loss to Joe Biden and Republican Martha McSally’s loss to Mark Kelly — to voters who split their tickets.
“That’s the reality. Just because that happened doesn’t mean it’s fraud,” he said.
A former county and federal prosecutor, Brnovich stepped down from his post as director of the Arizona Department of Gaming to run for attorney general in 2014. He challenged Tom Horne in the GOP primary, defeating a Republican incumbent who’d been plagued by a series of scandals. He won a second term as attorney general in 2014. He also worked for the libertarian-conservative Goldwater Institute.
Brnovich is married to U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich.