Those who cast their ballots for Masters, Lake, Finchem, and Hamadeh make up less than 10% of all registered voters in Arizona.
Abortion rights and democracy will be on the ballot in Arizona this November, after Republican primary voters on Tuesday nominated a slate of anti-abortion, election-denying conspiracy theorists as their candidates for four statewide positions.
In each case, the candidates were backed by former President Donald Trump, who made denying the 2020 election results a litmus test of earning his support in the state. His endorsements likely proved decisive, with each candidate only narrowly beating their opponents.
RELATED: The Copper Courier’s Guide to Voting in Arizona in 2022
By nominating Kari Lake for governor, Blake Masters for US Senate, Mark Finchem for Arizona secretary of state, and Abe Hamadeh for Arizona attorney general, Republican primary voters sent a clear message to their party: they do not want moderation; they support full-fledged MAGA extremism.
And they’re getting it.
Here’s what you need to know about Arizona’s statewide Republican nominees:
US Senate – Blake Masters
A libertarian venture capitalist-turned-MAGA election denier, Blake Masters won the Republican Party’s primary for US Senate in Arizona, earning 39% of the vote. His closest competitor, former solar energy executive Jim Lamon, received just 28% of the vote. He will face off against popular Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly in November.
Masters, whose campaign has been largely funded by his mentor, anti-democratic billionaire Peter Thiel, has attempted to brand himself as a “populist” and “nationalist” Republican—one who wants to ban abortion nationwide without exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother.
Despite Masters’ efforts to paint himself as a populist, banning abortion is incredibly unpopular in Arizona. According to a new Courier Newsroom/Data for Progress poll, 68% of likely voters in Arizona said they opposed a 158-year-old abortion ban that current Attorney General Mark Brnovich—who ran and lost to Masters in the Senate primary—is asking a court to reinstate. Only 28% of voters support the ban.
RELATED: Trump Endorsed Blake Masters. Here’s What You Need To Know About Him.
Masters has also suggested privatizing Social Security, a move that could put benefits at risk and leave the economic security of more than 1 million Arizonans’ to the whims of the stock market.
Furthermore, Masters falsely claims that Trump won the 2020 election, has spread lies about voter fraud, and even downplayed the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, embracing the conspiracy theory that it was a false flag operation set up by the FBI. In reality, the attack was a violent siege that left five people—including a Capitol police officer—dead and hundreds more injured.
If elected, Masters would play a role in certifying—or blocking certification of—the 2024 presidential election results in the US Senate, further imperiling democracy.
Here’s what else you need to know about Masters:
- He is exceptionally close to Thiel, who once wrote that he “no longer believe[s] that freedom and democracy are compatible.” Masters even co-wrote a book with him, raising questions about whether he’d represent Arizonans or his billionaire benefactor.
- Masters has been endorsed by a literal neo-Nazi, Andrew Anglin, who has advocated for the genocide of the Jewish people. Masters has denounced Anglin and rejected the endorsement, but he is also close with Curtis Yarvin, an anti-democratic blogger who has written that some people are “more suited to slavery” than others, that the US needs to get over its “dictatorphobia,” and that the country should become a monarchy headed by a CEO.
- He wants to cut legal immigration and has referred to migrants seeking entry at the US border as an “invasion.”
- Masters has amplified and spread the dangerous “great replacement” conspiracy theory that Democrats are trying to replace white Americans with illegal immigrants for political and electoral gain. This absolutely baseless theory has influenced multiple mass shooters, including the gunman in the deadly 2019 massacre in El Paso, TX, and the gunman in Buffalo, NY, who murdered 10 Black people at a grocery store earlier this year.
- He explicitly blamed gun violence in America on Black people.
Arizona Governor – Kari Lake
Former TV News Anchor Kari Lake narrowly edged out Karrin Taylor Robson, her more establishment opponent, in Tuesday’s primary. The closer-than-anticipated race underscores some of Lake’s potential vulnerabilities heading into her November showdown with current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Democratic nominee for governor.
An early Trump favorite, Lake spent her entire campaign racing to the far right and staking out extreme positions on a host of issues—ones that would have significant consequences for Arizona families.
Lake supports and would enforce Arizona’s 1901 pre-Roe ban on abortion, which would outlaw the procedure in nearly all cases and criminalize doctors who perform it. She also wants to ban medication abortion, a two-drug regimen that allows women to perform abortions safely at home.
She has also repeatedly and falsely claimed that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, citing the Arizona GOP’s sham audit that actually confirmed Biden’s victory in Maricopa County. Prior to the primary, she even suggested that the only way she could lose was if Robson had “dead people voting” for her.
RELATED: Could Anti-Abortion, Election-Denying Conspiracy Theorist Kari Lake Be Arizona’s Next Governor?
If elected, Lake—an election conspiracy theorist who lies about voter fraud with astonishing regularity—would have the responsibility of upholding the will of millions of Arizona voters and certifying the state’s presidential election results in 2024.
Here’s what else you need to know about Lake:
- She campaigned with and paid a convicted felon who schemed to kill an FBI informant and pled guilty to assaulting a police officer.
- She’s associated with Nazi sympathizers, white nationalists, and conspiracy theorists.
- She has called for schools to place cameras in classrooms to monitor teachers and supported Republican lawmakers who voted to cut public school funding by 16%—a potentially devastating outcome that was only narrowly avoided.
- Lake wants to direct even more taxpayer funding to for-profit private and charter schools, even as Arizona is already home to the possibly most permissive school voucher program in the country.
- She wants to align state educational standards with a radically right-wing education agenda known as the Hillsdale 1776 curriculum, which is conservative propaganda.
- Lake said she would refuse to enforce any federal gun safety laws as governor, even as gun violence has surged across the country.
- She has helped sow a baseless, right-wing moral panic over sex, LGBTQ individuals, and “child grooming,” a term used to describe the act of getting close to and building trust with a child or young person with the intent of sexually abusing them.
- Lake has accused—without evidence— President Joe Biden of promoting a “perverted sexual agenda of grooming our children.”
Arizona Secretary of State – Mark Finchem
Like Lake, state Rep. Mark Finchem is a hardcore election denier who spent the end of 2020 and much of 2021 working to overturn the presidential election results, and he was even present at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, though he claims he did not join rioters invading the building.
Despite—or perhaps because of—his record of election denial, the Oro Valley lawmaker was victorious on Tuesday, defeating advertising executive Beau Lane in the Republican primary for secretary of state.
Finchem will face off against former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes in November.
RELATED: Is Rep. Mark Finchem an Insurrectionist?
If Finchem wins in November, he would be in charge of Arizona’s elections—which he spent months trying to overturn and nearly two years lying about.
During that time, Finchem argued that the Arizona state legislature has the power to override Arizona voters’ will and decide which presidential candidate gets the state’s electoral votes. (It doesn’t.)
Finchem also spread the lie that the legislature could decertify the 2020 election results after the fact and give Arizona’s electoral votes to Trump. He even introduced a bill to decertify the election and was involved in efforts to overturn the election at the federal level.
Finchem was so enmeshed in illegal efforts to reinstall Trump as president that his business entity got $6,000 from Trump for his attempts to overturn Arizona’s election results.
Here’s what else you need to know about Mark Finchem:
- He wants to eliminate all early voting in Arizona.
- Finchem has been a member of multiple extremist groups, including The Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia group that was heavily involved in the Jan. 6 attack and whose founder called former Sen. John McCain a traitor who “should be hung by the neck until dead.”
- Finchem denied any far-right involvement in the deadly 2017 Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA, and instead claimed it was a “Deep State PsyOp” to help Democrats.
- He embraces QAnon and has spread deranged conspiracy theories about elected officials being involved in pedophile networks.
Arizona Attorney General – Abe Hamadeh
Of all of Trump’s endorsements, his support of political newcomer Abe Hamadeh was possibly the most surprising. Hamadeh, a former Maricopa County prosecutor and Army captain, defeated former Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman on Tuesday.
Hamadeh will face off against Democrat Kris Mayes in November.
While Hamadeh claimed a smaller percentage of votes than his fellow Trump-backed candidates, he holds many of the same positions.
RELATED: Republican Candidate for Attorney General Says Century-Old Poem is Sign of Leftist Takeover. It Isn’t.
Hamadeh is anti-abortion and has vowed to use the power of the attorney general’s office to enforce Arizona’s draconian abortion bans. He’s also embraced Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen and cited fully debunked lies about widespread voter fraud to argue that Biden did not win Arizona in the 2020 election.
Here’s what else you need to know about Abe Hamadeh:
- He opposes popular “red flag” laws, which allow police and family members to petition a court to take away someone’s guns for up to a year if they believe that person is a threat to themselves or others.
- He believes Arizona’s border is being “invaded” by migrants and said he would work with the governor to invoke the State War Powers Act, allowing the state government to flood the border with National Guard troops to arrest migrants.
- He earned Trump’s endorsement after seemingly inflating his campaign bank account via a million-dollar loan from his brother–before repaying him a mere two weeks later.