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Trump ally Blake Masters announces House run in Arizona after failed Senate bid

Blake Masters, a Republican venture capitalist who lost an expensive bid to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate last year, announced Thursday that he’s running for a seat in the House of Representatives.

Masters, an ally of former president Donald Trump, is running to replace Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) in the state’s 8th Congressional District, which encompasses suburbs northwest of Phoenix. Lesko announced last week that she will not seek reelection in 2024.

In a campaign video accompanying his announcement, Masters, 37, says he will focus his legislative efforts on tackling inflation, U.S.-Mexico border security and water security. A cover image for the video shows Masters side by side with Trump.

“I’m running for Congress, to fight for Arizona’s 8th. Biden has failed. We need Trump back. We need to stop inflation, Build the Wall, avoid WW3, and secure Arizona’s water future,” Masters wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, announcing his run.

Masters told The Washington Post in a statement that he’s running because the country needs “strong leaders in Congress who are going to stand up to the establishment” and that he’s “not done fighting.”

Masters, who resides outside the 8th District in Tucson, said he “fell in love” with the district when he was campaigning for Senate.

“I’m looking forward to working hard and earning support for my bid for Congress. I know I’m going to be an America first fighter that protects Arizona families,” he added.

Masters — who previously embraced Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election — in 2022 won in a crowded Republican Senate primary after securing a Trump endorsement. He went on to lose to incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly in the general election.

That expensive and competitive race was key to determining the party balance of the Senate.

Masters echoed the former president’s false claims about the 2020 election early on in his Senate campaign. But a month before the 2022 general election, during a debate with Kelly, Masters called Joe Biden the “legitimate president” and said he had seen no evidence the vote count was rigged.

Masters’s bid for a House seat comes a couple of weeks after another Trump-endorsed candidate, Kari Lake, launched her U.S. Senate campaign in Arizona aiming to unseat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a former Democrat who is now an independent. Lake lost her bid to be Arizona’s governor last year.

Hannah Knowles contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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