Three Arizona GOP Senate candidates face off in heated television debate

Three of the top four candidates in the Arizona GOP Senate race battled it out during a debate on Wednesday night.
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 8:25 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Three of the top four candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the Arizona Senate race faced off in a heated television debate on Wednesday evening. Whoever wins the GOP primary will face off against Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly in November. As Arizonans are one week into early voting, the race is close as we head into the final weeks.

Michael McGuire seemed to be caught in the crossfire between the two top contenders for the GOP nomination. “John, we’ll interrupt this Wimbeldon tennis match real quick for a discussion,” said McGuire at one point in the debate.

Candidates Blake Masters and Jim Lamon went back and forth in the hours-long debate, with Masters touting his Trump-endorsed campaign. “We need to reimplement the America first policies. President Trump trusts me to do that. He met with Jim Lamon, he thought he was a bozo. I’m the America first candidate, that’s why I’m endorsed,” said Masters.

In return, Lamon slammed Masters, accusing him of relying too much on billionaire backers from Silicon Valley. “Let’s look no farther than where’s this guy, who’s holding the purse for this guy. $17 million coming out of big tech California globalist guy who he will owe that to,” Lamon fired back. “No one’s going to control me or own me; he’s owned right now and will be in U.S. Senate.”

Absent from the stage was Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who had a scheduling conflict. Brnovich’s high profile helped him jump to an early lead, but the latest survey shows Masters and Lamon surpassing him. According to a new poll by HighGround, Masters is in the lead at 23%, Lamon second at 13.5%, Brnovich close behind with 13% and McGuire in fourth at 4.5%.

Trump’s endorsement has given Masters a boost, and the former president is holding a rally on Saturday in Prescott Valley. Trump is expected to push for Masters and his other candidates at the event.

However, according to the poll, 40% of GOP voters are still undecided. With just 19 days left until decision day, the candidates are continuing to push their campaigns, hoping to sway voters in a close race.