Former President Donald Trump hasn’t officially endorsed anyone in Arizona’s Republican primary for the Senate but is hosting a fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago Club this coming week for one candidate, Blake Masters.
A person described as being familiar with Trump’s thinking told Politico that from “time to time, the president attends candidate events at his properties prior to an endorsement in the race,” but it’s not clear whether he plans to endorse Masters or another GOP candidate.
The fundraiser, being held Wednesday, will cost $2,900 per person, according to an invitation obtained by Politico. Couples raising $25,000 ahead of the event will also be able to have their photos taken with Trump.
The host committee for the Masters fundraiser includes wealthy investors and tech entrepreneurs, including Peter Thiel, David Sacks, and Joe Lonsdale, who are working with conservative donors Rebekah Mercer, Darren Blanton, and J.J. Cafaro.
Masters has a direct connection with Thiel, as he runs the billionaire’s tech investment firm, Thiel Capital, and the nonprofit Thiel Foundation.
Thiel, meanwhile, has donated $10 million each to the super PACs that support Masters and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, who is also a business associate of Thiel’s. Vance is running in Ohio for the U.S. Senate.
State Attorney General Mark Brnovich is currently leading the pack in the race for the GOP nomination, but Masters’ Super PAC has already been attacking him with advertising claiming he is soft on the matter of border security, a key issue in Arizona.
Trump has also criticized Brnovich for not doing enough to support the audit of the Maricopa County election results.
“[He] must put himself in gear, or no Arizona Republican will vote for him in the upcoming elections,” Trump warned at the time.
The ads may already be having an effect, claims an internal poll commissioned by the pro-Masters Saving Arizona super PAC showing Brnovich’s unfavorable rating increased by 11 percentage points, from 9 percent to 20 percent.
Further, the Fabrizio Lee polling summary said one-third of 800 Republican primary voters surveyed saw the ad, and 32 percent among those who had viewed it said they see Brnovich unfavorably.
Meanwhile, the same poll still showed that 26 percent of voters would choose Brnovich, with 14 percent for Masters. However, Masters’ vote share had tripled since August, the poll showed.
Trump, meanwhile, has been outspoken against Gov. Doug Ducey being nominated, should he run, after he, Brnovich, and Arizona’s secretary of state joined in certifying election results that resulted in President Joe Biden narrowly winning the state.