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Tucson Republican Blake Masters wants to represent this West Valley district

By Ben Giles
Published: Thursday, October 26, 2023 - 3:02pm
Updated: Thursday, October 26, 2023 - 3:17pm

Blake Masters
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
Blake Masters

So far, none of the Republicans who’ve officially entered the race to replace Rep. Debbie Lesko in Congress actually live in the West Valley district she represents.

Lesko announced last week that she won’t run for reelection in 2022. Her decision to bow out of the race triggered a wave of interest in Congressional District 8 from would-be candidates throughout Arizona, including the latest entrant — Tucson Republican Blake Masters.

Masters lost a statewide race for U.S. Senate in 2022. A former venture capitalist, he won the GOP nomination by echoing former President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election before losing to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.

In a Thursday campaign announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, Masters continued to align himself with the former president, writing, “We need Trump back.”

“The sad truth is life is getting harder for too many families in Arizona,” Masters said in a video before attacking President Joe Biden over inflation and the southern border.

However, it’s unclear if Masters can earn Trump’s endorsement. 

Another outsider, Scottsdale Republican Abe Hamadeh, announced his own campaign in CD8 mere hours after Lesko said she wouldn’t run. Like Masters, Hamadeh narrowly lost his own statewide race for attorney general in 2022, despite earning Trump’s endorsement.

Both Republicans will have to win over GOP voters in Glendale, Peoria and Sun City West. Whoever emerges from the Republican primary would be heavily favored in November 2024, as the district leans far to the right — for instance, Lesko ran unopposed in the general election in 2022.

There may still be more who join the race. So far, five other Republicans have filed statements of interest in CD8 with the Secretary of State’s Office: Seth Coates, Isiah Gallegos, Jimmy Rodriguez, Rollie Stevens and Brandon Urness.

As for Democratic challengers, six have filed their own statements of interest for CD8: Donald Case, Jim Holmes, Marc Lewis, Bernadette Greene Placentia, Steven Sawdy and Greg Whitten, who was already in the running before Lesko announced her retirement.

Politics Elections