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Blake Masters at a "Save America Rally" in Florence, Ariz., on Jan. 15, 2022.
Blake Masters at a "Save America Rally" in Florence, Ariz., on Jan. 15, 2022.Alex Gould / The Republic via USA-Today Network

Razing Arizona: Ad spending picks up in key Senate race

Republican Blake Masters placed his first TV ad buy of the primary.


The GOP contest to take on Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly is heating up with roughly two months until primary day on Aug. 2, with one top candidate placing his first TV ad spending. 

Blake Masters, who runs billionaire Peter Thiel’s investment firm and foundation, made his first TV ad buy, reserving $669,000 on the airwaves from June 7 through the end of the month, according to the ad tracking firm AdImpact. 

A Thiel-backed super PAC known as Saving Arizona has spent nearly $3.8 million on ads to boost Masters, per AdImpact. 

Just one other GOP Senate candidate, energy executive Jim Lamon has spent significant money on TV ads, dropping $4.7 million on the airwaves.

Lamon has launched a range of ads, including spots touting his work in solar energy. He recently went on offense against Masters, dubbing him "Fake Blake" in a TV ad, and knocking his support from Thiel as support from "big tech."

Lamon, who has largely self-funded his campaign, has also led the GOP field in fundraising. His campaign had $7.2 million on hand, while Masters had nearly $2.3 million on hand, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael “Mick” McGuire had $994,000 and state Attorney General Mark Brnovich had $525,000. 

Their hauls pale in comparison to Kelly, who has proven to be a prolific fundraiser. His campaign had $23.3 million on hand and it has spent nearly $7.1 million on ads, per AdImpact. Kelly's campaign ads have been largely positive spots with his most recent ad touting his work to help a small business access pandemic relief funds.

Millions of dollars have already been spent with a focus on the general election, with Kelly among the most vulnerable senators on the ballot this year. 

Kelly is running for a full term after winning a special election to serve out the last two years of the late Sen. John McCain’s term by 2 percentage points in 2020. President Joe Biden carried the Grand Canyon State by less than half a percentage point. 

The Cook Political Report rates the Arizona Senate race a Toss Up.