Senate candidates in Arizona wasted no time kicking off the general election after Tuesday’s primary, with both Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and Republican Blake Masters launching new TV ads on Thursday.
Masters’ spot features his wife Catherine talking directly to the camera, saying her husband is “in it because he loves his country so much and he loves his state so much.” The ad presents a softer image of Masters, who focused on core GOP issues like immigration in the primary, calling illegal immigration “an invasion.”
With his GOP opponent now set, Kelly’s campaign also hit the airwaves with an ad highlighting Masters’ positions on abortion and calling them “dangerous.” Democrats clearly see abortion as a salient campaign issue in the battleground state. Also on Thursday, the super PAC Senate Majority PAC launched its own TV ad knocking Masters on abortion as well.
For more on the hotly contested race, check out NBC News’ Sahil Kapur’s dispatch from Chandler, Ariz.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail…
Connecticut Senate: Trump endorsed Republican Leora Levy Thursday night, just days before the Aug. 9 primary. Levy is a GOP fundraiser and former RNC committee member whom Trump nominated to be ambassador to Chile (she was never confirmed). She’s competing against former state House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, whom the state party backed at its convention in May. Trump said Klarides had been endorsed “by 3 of the Worst RINOs in the Country” — referring to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Florida Senate Democratic Rep. Val Demings launched a new TV ad featuring current and retired law enforcement officers who pushed back on GOP attempts to tie Demings to the “defund the police” movement. GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign doubled down, releasing its second TV ad Friday morning, also featuring law enforcement officers who called Demings “another radical rubber stamp.”
Arizona governor: The NBC News Decision Desk projects that Republican Kari Lake has won the gubernatorial primary and will face off against Democratic Sec. State Katie Hobbs.
Florida governor: Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist responded to primary opponent Nikki Fried’s attacks on his past abortion stances with a new TV ad where Crist speaks directly to the camera and says, “Nikki knows I fought for your right to choose,” and another spot hitting Fried’s lobbyist past and association with Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Massachusetts governor: Politico explores the state's GOP gubernatorial primary, another battle between the pro-Trump and moderate forces within the party.
Michigan governor: Right to Life Michigan is ramping up its spending in Michigan’s gubernatorial race, reserving $7.8 million worth of TV air time for September through early November, per AdImpact.
And the Democratic Governors Association is already running an ad attacking Republican Tudor Dixon on abortion.
New York's 12th District: Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney walked back comments in a recent primary debate where she said she didn’t believe Biden would run for re-election. “Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run,” she told CNN Thursday, before adding, “I happen to think you won’t be running, but when you run or if you run, I will be there 100%.”
Tennessee's 5th District: The Associated Press projects Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles won Thursday’s nomination in the Republican-leaning district.