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In the Midst of a Tense GOP Senate Primary, Trump Makes His First Rally in Arizona for 2022 | Latest News!

Former President Donald Trump will arrive in Arizona on Saturday for his first rally of the midterm election season, drawing attention to a state where the governor and U.S. Senate elections will be closely contested in November.

Trump nominated Kari Lake, a former TV anchor who says she would not have certified the 2020 election, in the governor’s campaign. He has yet to name a Senate opponent to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, solar power executive Jim Lamon, venture capitalist Blake Masters, and former Air Force Major General Michael “Mick” McGuire are among the Republicans trying to unseat Kelly.

Democrats have won Arizona’s last two Senate campaigns, including Kelly’s 2.4-point victory over former Senator Martha McSally in a special election in 2020. Kelly, a retired astronaut, is serving out the balance of Senator John McCain’s tenure in Arizona and must run for re-election this year for a full six-year term.

Trump is unlikely to back anyone. Saturday — The primary in Arizona is August 2, and sources close to the campaign say Trump is waiting to watch how the contest plays out before deciding on a candidate.

His support is significant, but it does not always level the playing field. Ted Budd, a Republican from North Carolina, is running against former Governor Pat McCrory in a tight battle. In Alabama, Trump’s supported Congressman Mo Brooks is up against Katie Britt, the former chief of staff of departing Senator Richard Shelby.

Republicans in Arizona continue to support Trump. Despite the fact that his endorsement did not help McSally win in 2018 or 2020, it would be crucial in the primary.

“You want his endorsement if you’re running for Senate,” Chris DeRose, a lawyer and former Brnovich aide in the state attorney general’s office, said. “Do you require that in order to win? No. You’d have to be insane not to desire it.”

Trump attended a fundraiser sponsored by Masters at Mar-a-Lago in November. Masters, who hold a Stanford law degree and is the president of billionaire Peter Thiel’s organization, told CBS News that winning the election becomes “a lot harder” without Trump’s support, but he is confident that the former president will not support any of his opponents.

Brnovich has been the race’s top runner, and his supporters are banking on his immigration record to help him win the primary. According to a person close to the campaign, Trump and Brnovich speak frequently, and Brnovich may soon visit Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s criticism of Brnovich over the election results in Arizona has waned over time.

Brnovich told Fox Business days after the 2020 election that “there is no proof, there are no facts that would make anyone anticipate that the election results will alter,” and that Trump lost because voters split their tickets. Months later, Trump refused to admit loss and blasted Brnovich for not attempting to establish the election was rigged in his favor. He called Brnovich “lackluster” and said he was “nowhere to be found” when it came to the 2020 election in May.

Trump Makes His First Rally
In the Midst of a Tense GOP Senate Primary

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Lamon, a veteran who announced his candidacy in May, gained traction this week after releasing a commercial with the anti-Biden slogan “let’s go, Brandon.”

Democrats claim Trump is “creating turmoil” in the Republican primary by “elevating severely flawed GOP candidates, intensifying Republicans’ infighting, and compelling their candidates to attack one other over who can suck up to Trump the most,” according to Jazmin Vargas, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

“A Floss Tightrope”

The Arizona Senate Republicans ordered a review of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, which Republicans will have to traverse. The study, which was largely panned by election experts, ultimately showed President Joe Biden winning by a larger margin.

Maricopa County has refuted the report’s findings of improper ballot counting and election administration mistakes, claiming that the investigation was marred by “faulty analysis, false claims, misleading conclusions, and a lack of grasp of federal and state election regulations.”

“Walking a tightrope of floss with the audit issue, especially for Republicans on the ticket this year,” said Mike Noble, chief of research at the nonpartisan polling firm OH Predictive Insights.

Lamon is pinning his hopes on the Maricopa study, claiming that it raised enough flaws “to tip the election in President Trump’s favor” in Arizona. He and other Republicans falsely claimed to be the state’s electors in a letter addressed to Congress. He said he didn’t regret it since slates of electors had to be presented by a certain date, and Republicans wanted to be ready “if this election was decertified.”

In November, Masters stated that he believes Trump will win the 2020 election.

“Right now, Joe Biden is president,” Masters told CBS News. “Do I believe he was elected in a free and fair election? I don’t think so. In 2020, I don’t believe we had a free and fair election. If we did, I have a strong suspicion that President Trump would still be in office.”

He blames COVID and social media corporations for expanding mail voting techniques and suppressing negative reports about the Bidens.

“There is no constitutional remedy or debate about the fact that Joe Biden received more than 270 electoral votes,” McGuire, the retired major general, told CBS News. When asked if he thought Biden won the race fairly, McGuire said he’ll wait to see what comes out of Brnovich’s examination of the findings that were sent to the attorney general’s office. And he isn’t the only one in the race to unseat primary front-runner Brnovich in 2020.

In December, Lamon held a rally outside of Brnovich’s office, pushing for stronger action. Masters believes Brnovich is attempting to “kick the can through the primary so that he can seem to be strong on election integrity,” and that Brnovich “needs to hold people accountable where laws were broken.”

In a statement, a Brnovich campaign representative remarked, “It’s always easy to take cheap shots from the cheap seats.” “Attorney General Brnovich remains focused on executing his duly elected job and will present the results once his office completes the investigation,” says the statement.

Brnovich’s supporters point to his Supreme Court victory in a case challenging Arizona voting laws concerning ballots cast in the wrong precinct and a ban on “ballot harvesting,” as well as his office’s demand that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors complies with a subpoena related to the state Senate’s 2020 review.

Trump Makes His First Rally
Trump Makes His First Rally in Arizona for 2022

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Views on the audit and the 2020 election may have an impact on moderate suburban voters in Arizona who helped Democrats win in 2020, but other problems may be more pressing in November, according to Noble.

“If people are having problems with the economy, inflation, and other difficulties, those will take precedence over social issues, or an audit will fade from voters’ minds,” Noble added.

Immigration

In a November poll conducted by OH Predictive Insights, Republicans’ top concerns were immigration and the economy. According to Customs and Border Protection data, migrant interactions in the Tucson sector were up 72 percent in October and November compared to the same period in 2020, while encounters in Yuma were up 2,400 percent. During the first year of the COVID-19 epidemic, encounters along the southern border were extremely rare.

“There has always been a problem with lawlessness and immorality along the border,” said McGuire, who served as Adjutant General of the Arizona National Guard from 2013 to 2021.

Lamon favors legal immigration but is concerned that border patrol officials are struggling to keep up with the increase in border contacts, which he calls an “invasion.”

“They’re coming from all around,” Lamon explained. “That is something that America must grasp. This is a matter of border control.”

Masters, who worked with Thiel, want major technological businesses to be subjected to more stringent rules.

“When they have the ability to control the flow of information in a free society when they have the motivation and opportunity to influence elections, I believe that is something we should look at. At the moment, the attitude is completely laissez-faire “Masters said.

Lamon was the only candidate to mention working with his Senate opponent, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema if he wins. “If Republicans and Democrats work together, we could be a juggernaut,” he remarked.

Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona, who has been targeted by Trump on numerous occasions, has stated that he is not interested in running for Senate, but some supporters believe he will reconsider.

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“He will never have my endorsement or MAGA Nation’s backing!” After Politico reported that Ducey is still considering running for president, Trump issued a comment on Friday.

In addition, Trump has not endorsed candidates in tough primaries in Missouri or Ohio. In Pennsylvania, he hasn’t backed since his favorite candidate, Sean Parnell, halted his campaign.

“Arizona, Ohio, Missouri, and Pennsylvania are all states that are a lot more complex,” a Trump advisor said. “There’s no obvious candidate and you might as well let it play out a little bit.”

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