Kari Lake vs. Blake Masters: The Republican candidates who lost the gubernatorial and Senate races in Arizona in 2022 are both expected to run against each other for the Senate in 2024.
Kari Lake vs. Masters Could Be Epic
In the 2022 midterm elections, the Republican Party underperformed expectations, actually losing a seat in the Senate and winning a smaller-than-expected majority in the House. There were many reasons for this, but one of them was that the GOP chose not-very-strong candidates in many key states.
Now, in 2024, two of those candidates are expected to face each for a U.S. Senate seat.
In 2022, Kari Lake was defeated in the Arizona governor’s race by Katie Hobbs, while Blake Masters lost that state’s Senate race to Sen. Mark Kelly. Both were seen as winnable for the GOP, in a swing state that was very close in the 2020 presidential race, but the party lost both races.
Now, with the state’s other Senate seat up in 2024, both Lake and Masters are expected to run.
According to Politico, Masters is “making plans to launch another Arizona Senate bid,” which would likely place him in the same primary as Lake, who is expected to announce this fall that she’s running for the Senate seat. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb is also running for the Republican nomination.
Those Republicans would enter one of the nation’s wildest Senate races in 2024. Incumbent Sen. Krysten Sinema left the Democratic Party to become an independent, although she still caucuses with the Democrats. Sinema has not announced whether she’s running for another term, but she’s expected to run as an independent. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) is running in the race as a Democrat, making a three-way race possible.
However, one expert told Politico that if Masters runs, it may mean Lake is not actually running.
“I think he is now under the impression that maybe Kari Lake isn’t going to run because I’ll tell you if Lake and Blake are both in, he is wasting his time,” Barrett Marson, an Arizona-based GOP strategist, told Politico. “They occupy the same lane. They have nearly the same name. And she has a much better positive name ID among Republicans than Blake does… If Kari Lake runs, there is no lane for Blake Masters.”
Both Lake and Masters ran MAGA-flavored campaigns in 2022, and both were endorsed by Trump himself. The difference is, that Masters conceded after he was defeated, while Lake maintains, to this day, that she had the gubernatorial election stolen from her. Lake filed numerous legal challenges and went on to endorse wild conspiracy theories involving drug cartels, but none of those efforts were successful. Lake, in the meantime, has indicated that she would like to be considered by Donald Trump as his running mate in 2024.
In the meantime, the Arizona Republican Party finds itself in a bad place.
According to Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts, the state GOP is “eating its own in defense of Kari Lake and MAGA mania… It’s almost easier, at this point, to count the Republican elected officials who haven’t been censured by the far-right Kari Lake loons who have seized control of the once-Grand Old Party.”
In April, an Arizona legislator named Liz Harris was expelled from the state House after inviting a witness to give false testimony about the drug cartel conspiracy. The state party then went on to censure the 18 Republicans in the legislature who voted to expel Harris. They went on to censure Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell after Mitchell sought sanctions against Lake.
“The Arizona Republican Party continues its ambitious campaign to win back a Senate seat, hold onto its tenuous grip on the state Legislature, and maintain control of Maricopa County. Or not,” the columnist said. “Instead, the grassroots activists who form the backbone of the party seem far more interested in feasting on a steady diet of their own.”
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.
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