Trump-endorsed candidates take victories in Arizona primaries, setting the stage for a scary 2024
If victorious in November, the election deniers could determine who could win the presidency in two years time.
Primary elections took place on Tuesday, August 2, in five states across the country, and were once again litmus tests in the Republican Party to see the strength of former President Donald Trump’s influence.
Victories in the U.S. Senate and Secretary of State races in Arizona particularly proved to be controversial, as both winners are Trump allies and loyalists. With the big wins, it reaffirmed the chokehold the former President has on the Republican party, as he continues his purge of all critics and enemies from his own party.
In the bigger picture, the victories put two Trump loyalists in important positions in a key swing-state. It is also a key move in the bigger game of chess Trump is playing as he builds towards another potential run for the presidency in 2024.
Trump’s choice for senate in Arizona, Blake Masters, won a crowded primary by an overwhelming majority, winning all counties except Gila. Masters is a venture capitalist, and the former chief operating officer of Peter Thiel’s investment firm. Thiel himself was a major donor in the race, contributing upwards of $15 million.
Masters is one of many people who spread misinformation about the 2020 election. He went as far as to criticize Democrats and accuse them of attempting to "change the demographics" of the nation. In Tuesday’s election, he went on to beat businessman Jim Lamon, and current Attorney General of Arizona Mark Brnovich, among others.
Masters will now take on Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, who ran unopposed in his own primary. With 50-50 control of the Senate on the line this November, this matchup will be one of the more competitive, and expensive midterm matchups in American history.
Another Trump-backed candidate winning big Tuesday was 2020 election denier Mark Finchem, who secured the Republican nomination for Arizona Secretary of State. The Arizona state representative won with 40% of the vote, per NBC News. Finchem was followed by fellow election denier, State Rep. Shawnna Bolick, at 19%. Businessman Beau Lane got more than 25% of the vote.
The win is big for both Finchem and Trump, as the former president looks to put allies in key positions in key swing states like Arizona. The victory puts Finchem closer to being one the top elections officials in a state that has seen persistent efforts to try and overturn the 2020 election.
If elected in November, Finchem would be overseer of the state office administering the upcoming Presidential election in 2024, and would have the power to determine or affect the final outcome in the election. He will go on to face the winner of the Democratic race that is still undetermined between politician and former Maricopa County recorder Adrian Fontes, and State Representative Reginald Bolding.
In the past, Finchem has also said that the state legislature should be allowed to overturn the will of voters in future presidential elections.
It is now possible for Arizona to have three election deniers in its three top positions. With the Presidential election nearing and not much firepower on the Democratic side, the key wins put him in a better position that could very well determine the winner of the next election.