Following Tuesday’s primary election win, Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters appears to have shifted his campaign tone to appeal to independent voters. That base of “other” voters is the second largest, a close second to registered Republicans.
In a campaign video released Wednesday, Masters’ descriptors now read “independent.” Past videos displayed prominently former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, as well as his features on right-leaning networks like Fox News and conservative pundits’ shows, such as those hosted by Ben Shapiro and Steve Bannon.
In the video, Masters’ wife asserts that America’s heading down a bad path, narrating a smiling Masters playing with his children.
“He’s in it because he loves his country so much, and he loves his state so much. He would make Arizona so proud,” said Catherine.
Masters’ tone shift likely has to do with the increase in Arizona’s independent voters. There are more independent than Democratic voters, and their base comes in a close second to Republican voters.
The secretary of state’s latest voter registration data reported well over 1.4 million Republicans (34 percent), slightly over 1.4 million “other” voters (33 percent, which includes independents, those without a party preference, and those without a major party), and under 1.3 million Democrats (31 percent).
Masters won Tuesday’s primary with slightly over 39 percent of the vote (over 250,800 votes). Candidate Jim Lamon came in second with nearly 29 percent of the vote (under 185,000 votes), and Attorney General Mark Brnovich came in third with over 18 percent of the voter (over 117,300 votes).
Candidate Mick McGuire earned under 9 percent of the vote (under 56,600 votes), and Justin Olson earned over 5 percent (over 32,800 votes).
Altogether, voters who participated in the Republican primary totaled about 642,500. That’s just over 1 percent of all registered voters, and over 22 percent of Republican and “other” (includes independents) combined.
Masters will face off against the incumbent, Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), who was uncontested in his election. Kelly pulled just under 495,500 votes.
Democrat incumbent Senator Mark Kelly ran uncontested. He earned over 506,800 votes.
Republican Blake Masters accrued over 256,000 votes, pulling ahead of contenders Jim Lamon (187,714 votes), Attorney General Mark Brnovich (119,232 votes), Mick McGuire (57,895 votes), and Justin Olson (33,307). Former President Donald Trump endorsed Masters.
The Libertarian Party candidate, Marc Victor, ran uncontested as well. He earned just under 2,600 votes.
Congress, District 1: Hodge v. Schweikert
Democrat Jevin Hodge bested Adam Metzendorf, over 39,200 votes to over 24,600 votes.
Incumbent David Schweikert (R-AZ-06), who had Trump’s endorsement, accrued over 42,000 votes, achieving 10 percent more of the vote than runner-up Elijah Norton and 20 percent more of the vote than Josh Barnett.
The District 1 Republican primary was one of the more contested ones. Schweikert and Norton lobbed accusations at one another over ethics, either concerning campaign signs or finances. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) fined Schweikert $125,000 for 11 ethics violations.
Congress, District 2: Crane v. O’Halleran
Republican Eli Crane beat out State Representative Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake), earning just under 28,400 votes over Blackman’s over 20,400 votes. The remainder of the heavily-contested primary split the vote five different ways: Mark DeLuzio, under 14,800 votes; John Moore, over 6,000 votes; Andy Yates, just under 6,000 votes; Steven Krystofiak, just over 4,700 votes; and Ron Watkins in last, with just over 3,100 votes.
Crane had Trump’s endorsement.
Democratic incumbent Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01) pulled over 57,600 votes.
Congress, District 3: Gallego v. Nelson
Democratic incumbent Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07) earned just under 39,800 votes.
Gallego pledged to “make an example” of Republican candidate Jeff Zink, who ran uncontested and earned over 11,500 votes. Zink’s son, Texas resident Ryan Zink, was arrested over his presence at the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. The elder Zink attended the rally, but didn’t participate in the riot.
Congress, District 4: Cooper v. Stanton
Republican Kelly Cooper (just under 16,700 votes) edged out a narrow victory over opponents Tanya Wheeless (over 13,900 votes), Dave Giles (nearly 11,000), Rene Lopez (over 8,000 votes), Rene Lopez (over 8,000), and Jerone Davison (over 7,000).
Democratic incumbent Greg Stanton (D-AZ-09) ran uncontested, earning over 51,700 votes.
Congress, District 5: Biggs v. Ramos
Incumbent Republican Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) ran uncontested, earning over 73,300 votes.
Biggs will face off against Democrat Javier Ramos, who ran uncontested and pulled over 41,500 votes.
Congress, District 6: Ciscomani v. Engel
Republican Juan Ciscomani won a crowded race, beating out four other opponents with over 43,800 votes. Brandon Martin earned over 12,200 votes, Kathleen Winn earned over 17,200 votes, Young Mayberry earned over 7,900 votes, and Lucretia Free earned over 4,400 votes.
In a slightly-less crowded race, Democrat and former state legislator Kirsten Engel (over 49,800 votes) beat out State Representative Daniel Hernandez (D-Tucson), who earned over 28,600 votes, and Avery Anderson, who earned over 5,000 votes.
Congress, District 7: Grijalva v. Pozzolo
Incumbent Democrat Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03) ran uncontested, pulling over 56,000 votes.
Grijalva will face off against Republican candidate Luis Pozzolo, who earned over 17,500 votes compared to his opponent, Nina Becker, with over 8,000 votes.
Congress, District 8: Lesko
Incumbent Republican Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08) ran uncontested, and faces no opponents in the general election.
Congress, District 9: Gosar
Incumbent Republican Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) emerged victorious in a crowded primary with over 58,200 votes. He beat out three opponents: Randy Kutz, over 11,500 votes; Adam Morgan, nearly 11,100 votes; and Sandra Dowling, over 8,100 votes.
The Arizona Mirror fired one of their reporters after his explicit tweets from over a decade ago were publicized by GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters.
That reporter, Dillon Rosenblatt, wrote an article about Masters’ abortion stance claiming that Masters praised Nazis. Controversy ensued after Rosenblatt cited an essay written by Masters in 2006, in which the candidate quoted a Nazi Party leader, Hermann Goering. The quote came from the writings of a psychologist with access to Goering and other Nazi prisoners during the Nuremberg trials. That psychologist recounted and paraphrased conversations with those prisoners. Goering’s quote, which Masters repeated, described how to convince a nation to go to war. Masters’ essay focused on his opposition to the war industry and higher powers’ interests in convincing Americans to enter foreign conflicts.
After Masters stated publicly that Rosenblatt mischaracterized his use of the quote, The Arizona Mirror retracted Rosenblatt’s claim.
In response to the article mischaracterization, Masters uploaded documentation of 17 explicit or derogatory tweets from Rosenblatt made about a decade ago.
In multiple tweets, Rosenblatt called multiple individuals the n-word, a combination of the n-word and the insult for gay men, and a version of the n-word signifying a baby. He also tweeted Asian stereotypes concerning driving and male genital sizes, as well as Black stereotypes about diet, lingo, and intellect.
Rosenblatt hasn’t issued a public response to his firing.
However, the parent nonprofit of The Arizona Mirror, States Newsroom, issued a statement condemning Rosenblatt’s remarks.
“We are committed to holding ourselves and our reporters to the highest ethical standards, learning from our mistakes and producing the type of non-partisan, high-quality journalism that our readers expect,” stated the nonprofit. “State Newsroom has zero tolerance for racism, misogyny, and any form of hate speech.”
Senate candidate Blake Masters believes that the modern school system is broken, characterized by “twin tower issues,” he told AZ Free News: teaching “junk” instead of what they need to know. Masters delivered that message in his latest campaign video, similar to his last: a monologue on conservative values delivered in a field, hearkening back to the simplicity of Thomas Jefferson’s yeoman farmer.
“Here’s a harsh truth for you. Our schools are making our kids dumber. The 1619 history curriculum teaches kids that America is somehow fundamentally evil, or racist. Critical Race Theory teaches kids to identify with each other in racial terms. You’re either a victim, or an oppressor based on the color of your skin. And even if you wipe away all this left-wing toxic ideology from our schools – the schools are still failing to teach kids the basics. We’re graduating kids that can’t even read or write. I’m Blake Masters. I’m running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona. And I approve this message because we’ve got to fund students, not systems. We’ve gotta make sure that young people are learning to think for themselves.”
“We’re going to stop woke teachers and schools from turning our kids into losers,” tweeted Masters.
In an interview with AZ Free News, Masters explained that his video was a sort of thought experiment to inspire a critical assessment of our modern school system – every type from public to private schools. He remarked that the focus on pushing social justice agendas at the expense of “teaching real history and cultivating actual skills and talents” was both a cause and effect of deep-rooted issues in the school system.
“I think that’s both a driver of the poor performance but also somehow a symptom of it,” said Masters.
Masters believes the problematic school system is why Republican Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin secured victory in a presumptively deep-blue state.
“I think we just saw the Youngkin win in Virginia had a lot to do with the school issue and parents frustration and that one gaffe [by Democratic candidate Terry McCauliffe], but it wasn’t a gaffe it was really what he thought: that parents shouldn’t have a say [in their children’s education,” assessed Masters.
Just over a month before Election Day, McCauliffe declared that parents ought to have no power when it comes to their children’s curriculum.
Masters has firsthand experience of political indoctrination in the school system, all the way back in 1994. He told AZ Free News that his teacher had his second-grade class write letters to the editor of the local paper, The Arizona Daily Star, to object to a housing development that razed desert land next to the school.
“I remember in second grade my dad got really mad because [… the school] had us write letters to the editors. There’s a letter that’s printed from me saying it’s so unfair that the developments would do this and that to the lizards and cacti,” recalled Masters. “That was the beginning of some kind of left-wing environmentalist indoctrination. [Other students said that] people shouldn’t even live in houses, they should live in mud huts. The teachers were pointing us in a certain direction. My dad wrote a very scathing response and it was published [as well].”
AZ Free News found the young Masters’ letter to the editor: in 1994, letters from Canyon View Elementary School second-graders were published in a full-page spread titled “Damaging the Desert” in The Arizona Daily Star. The students all echoed similar messages about how “the animals must find new homes,” and condemned both the developers and homeowners for their greed and “killing Mother Nature.”
“Man is killing Mother Nature just for money,” wrote one second-grader, Brian Benhke.
It appeared that one or more teachers took the students into the desert after it had been razed by developers, where they reportedly found blood-covered rocks and animals’ remains. It is unclear if that was the intent of the educators.
Reproduced below is the letter from a young Blake Masters:
“I am concerned because next to our school they are destroying the environment to build new houses. I think they should make sure all the houses in Tucson are taken up before constructing new ones. Why do the workers listen to the boss? If the boss told them to jump off a cliff, would they do it? For the money, sure, just for the money, they’re destroying other animals’ habitats when they don’t have to. Pretty soon we won’t have enough oxygen to live on. In a few years the Sonoran Desert could be ruined. We should make a Desert Belt like the Green Belt in Boulder, Colo[rado]. Maybe if more people lived together, we would not need to build so many houses. If someone doesn’t do something, the Earth will be gone, and we have only one. Maybe people who have more money should not build a huge house. When workers finally realize what they have done, they will say they’re innocent.” (emphasis added)
A month later, Masters’ father issued a lengthy response criticizing the public school system for prioritizing a social justice agenda over educating the second-graders about American freedoms such as private property. The senior Masters pointed out that the vacant land was the private property of the developer, anyway, and that the children who grieved over losing their playground were actually trespassers on that private property. Masters also pointed out that the developed land was for multi-family housing, His remarks strike a familiar tone with parents’ current grievances with the school system.
“These letters these children authored demonstrates that they are being taught (by intent or default) the antithesis of economic freedom. Inherent in our free enterprise system is the vital concept of private property. Without economic freedom and its private property derivative, all other freedoms are meaningless. Along with other constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms, grade school children can understand the critically important concept of private property. After all, what child by the age of 2 has not mastered the usage of the word ‘mine?’ If the children had been exposed to the importance of private property rights, wouldn’t one expect that at least one of the letters would mention that vacant land was the developer’s private property? Had anyone pointed out to the children that when they played on this vacant land, they were in fact trespassing on the private property of another? My surprise at what they are not being taught is surpassed only by what they are being taught. That they are not being taught the basic American values of the individual over the state, economic freedom, and private property is bad enough. What’s even worse is that these letters reveal that our children are being taught that mankind is subservient to plants and animals. Even more alarming is that they are being taught so with scare tactics.”
After that, Masters attended public school until the fifth grade before switching to a private school from sixth grade through his senior year of high school. He recalled learning that Christoper Columbus was a “murderer” in the fourth grade. It wasn’t all bad, however – Masters said he had some unadulterated history education, such as the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I think that stuff has gotten way way worse since I was a kid,” remarked Masters. “I remember learning about MLK and why that was important. I remember that people used to treat people badly based on the color of their skin. I remember learning about that. Now that seems so old-fashioned. That’s just not what kids learn in K-2 anymore. It’s really shifted since I was a kid.”
Both of letters from the senior and junior Masters are available here.
Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters offered a taste of San Francisco, California street life in his latest campaign video, claiming that the rampant homelessness, drug addiction, poverty, and crime there were Senator Mark Kelly’s (D-AZ) goals for Arizona.
“This is San Francisco; it’s disgusting. This is what Mark Kelly wants Arizona to look like: high taxes, crime, drugs through the roof – it’s insane,” said Masters. “[W]e’ve got to make sure that California stops at the Arizona border.”
None of Masters’ campaign videos have cost anything; Masters explained to critics that his friends filmed the videos “for free.”
Masters told AZ Free News that San Francisco governance has essentially legalized crime and drugs in the city. He recalled noticing car after car with shattered windows, the result of criminals who “smash and grab” to loot the vehicles parked in the streets. Masters said that some of these issues were present when he’d lived in the area, but not to that degree.
Masters opined that policy was to blame – not a lack of income or opportunity. He pointed out one of the finer, wealthier neighborhoods in the city, Pacific Heights, and said that more of San Francisco used to uphold that standard of living long ago.
“It’s the failed government [that caused the squalor]. And I think most of the city is quickly becoming what you saw in my video and less like Pacific Heights,” said Masters. “They [the homeless] are victims of the city [….] I don’t think anybody on the political left is doing them any favors.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t respond to our inquiries as to when she last visited San Francisco. The speaker’s last publicized visit there was last February in Chinatown. Pelosi had visited Chinatown to encourage tourism in the earliest stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. After that, Pelosi made various stops for her personal needs – such as her clandestine, maskless trip to a hair salon in September.
Masters said his team also filmed an interview with one one of the locals living on the streets. He’d spoken with an aspiring rapper, “T-Bone,” who gave a firsthand account of living under progressive policies. Masters said that his team may publish that interview.
“He’s trying to get back to doing gigs and my sense is, with the high cost to succeed, it’s really hard to break out of [that environment] once you’re in it. I think it’s really telling when there’s no one there who thinks it’s working well,” explained Masters.
Masters’ campaign video wasn’t his first recent tour to areas afflicted by Democratic policy. Earlier this week, Masters visited the border in Cochise County. His Twitter thread about the tour stirred up controversy with Democrats, who accused Masters of exaggerating when he referenced Border Patrol lingo to call the area a “kill zone.”
A little border patrol dark humor – these corridors are known as “kill zones” because when they stretch for miles, it exposes their vehicles to potential ambush. This is federal land […] in the Huachuca mountains. The federal park rangers, under Biden admin instruction, don’t enforce immigration law. Cartels have more or less free reign to move people and drugs through. Border Patrol is spread too thin. They try but with limited resources and zero political support, it’s hard. Often they’re literally not allowed to do their jobs. Sheriff’s deputies can detain illegals carrying drugs or weapons, but basically have to let everyone else go. In the Tucson Sector alone, there have been 183,000 arrests of illegal aliens in 2021. (85% of them single adults, from more than 100 different countries, and most were released back into the U.S.) Plus 115,000 confirmed getaways. And obviously many more got through undetected.
Look at all the steel just sitting there on the right. On Jan 20, Biden ordered border wall construction stopped.
A little border patrol dark humor — these corridors are known as “kill zones” because when they stretch for miles, it exposes their vehicles to potential ambush pic.twitter.com/53uKkMUwlh
The Pima County Democratic Party responded to Masters’ account with claims that the border region was actually peaceful, and claimed that no border crisis existed.
“Hey @bgmasters – this is actually what our border region looks like,” stated the organization. “It is not some imaginary, cosplay, video game, that you like to refer to as a “Kill Zone” – it is a diverse, beautiful, and thriving community. #BorderTown #TheBigBorderLie #ThereIsNoBorderCrisis #Qnuts[.]”
AZ Free News spoke with Border Patrol to inquire about the “kill zone” terminology. Border Sergeant Tim Williams expanded further on what Masters stated. Technically, law enforcement refer to areas like where Masters toured as a “kill zone” or “fatal funnel” because they can only move forward and backward. If officers are ambushed, their movements are limited.
“We call it a ‘fatal funnel’ or ‘kill zone,’ when you get stuck in a hallway and you can’t move side to side and can only move forward or backward. That’s what I was explaining to the candidate: when you’re here, you’re driving down the road with a border wall on the south side and access fencing on the north side,” explained Williams. “They’ve created an officer safety issue [there].”