But as NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard and P.J. Tobia report from Ahwatukee, Masters’ comments — at an event alongside the three other statewide candidates backed by former President Donald Trump — delivered some red meat.
He questioned why Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly can “find $50 billion to secure Ukraine’s border with Russia but can’t find $10 billion to secure our own border with Mexico.” He went on to say that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “deserves to see the inside of a prison cell,” and called Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs “not the smartest person in the world.” Elsewhere on the campaign trail…
Florida Senate: GOP Sen. Marco Rubio released a minute-long closing ad where he touted American exceptionalism. He closed the ad by saying, “This is our country. And if you don’t love it, you’re free to leave it. But we will never allow anyone to destroy it.”
North Carolina Senate: GOP Rep. Ted Budd’s closing TV ad ties Democrat Cheri Beasley to Biden, whom he blamed for rising prices. “If you’re stretched thin and had enough, you definitely can’t afford Cheri Beasley,” a narrator says in the ad.
Pennsylvania Senate: Oprah Winfrey endorsed Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on Thursday, despite her role in launching Republican Mehmet Oz’s television career. “Doctor Oz loves Oprah and respects the fact that they have different politics,” the Oz campaign said in a statement to NBC News’ Dasha Burns. Fetterman also made an additional $1 million TV buy, per AdImpact. And Marist’s new poll has Fetterman with a 6-point lead among “definite” voters and a 5-point lead among registered voters.
Wisconsin Senate: Time Magazine looks at how the issue of crime has taken center stage in Wisconsin’s Senate race.
Arizona governor: Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs responded to her GOP opponent Kari Lake’s calls on her to resign, telling Hillyard, “I took an oath of office to do the job that voters elected me to do.” The High Ground poll also found a neck-and-neck race for governor with Lake at 47% and Hobbs at 45%.
Florida governor: Insider profiles Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ closest confidante, his wife, Casey.
Michigan governor: NBC News’ Henry J. Gomez reports that the race for Michigan governor and other statewide posts “have erupted into a scramble, with tightening polls, hostile tones and dire warnings from both parties.” However, a new poll from EPIC-MRA pegged Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with 54% to Republican Tudor Dixon’s 43%.
New Mexico governor: Biden stressed an economic message during a campaign stop to boost New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, NBC News’ Peter Nicholas reports.
Pennsylvania governor: Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro isn’t taking his sizable lead in the polls for granted, traveling across the state as the governor’s race comes to a close, NBC News’ Allan Smith reports.
Florida-27: In a relatively foreign-policy free election cycle, the issue looms large in this South Florida district.
North Carolina-14: New reports say there was a shooting at the home of Republican congressional nominee Pat Harrigan’s family last month while his children were sleeping. Police say an investigation is ongoing.
New Hampshire-1: The Washington Post reports on Republican Karoline Leavitt’s quest to become the youngest person, and the first of Generation Z, in Congress.