Arizona AG running for Senate after tangling with Trump

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Arizona authorities Attorney General Mark Brnovich is moving for Senate, helium said Thursday, becoming the latest Republican to articulation the progressively crowded superior to instrumentality connected Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly successful a apical midterm battleground.

Brnovich is the archetypal elected authoritative to articulation the contention and is the 3rd large campaigner successful what’s accelerated becoming 1 of the astir contested superior elections successful the country. But helium besides faces a situation successful winning implicit the Republican base, aft erstwhile President Donald Trump has criticized him respective weeks implicit the ongoing and arguable audit of the 2020 predetermination successful the state's largest county.

Republicans volition request to navigate the intra-party divisions successful the authorities to person immoderate anticipation of flipping the seat, which could beryllium captious to their chances to triumph backmost the 50-50 Senate from Democrats. And Brnovich, who has won 2 statewide elections arsenic lawyer general, could beryllium an charismatic general-election candidate.

In an interrogation with POLITICO astir his run launch, Brnovich said that helium has spoken with Trump and different Republican leaders astir his run, calling them “good conversations” but declining to spell into specifics connected what was discussed. He besides did not reply whether helium thought helium could gain Trump’s enactment aft the criticisms, but said helium would absorption connected representing “conservative and libertarian Arizona values.”

He was captious of Kelly and the Biden administration, framing his run connected pushing backmost connected overreach successful Washington.

“Arizonans recognize that our authorities has a long, affluent contented of rugged individualism and knowing for — we don't request the nanny state, and we don't privation Washington, D.C., solving our problems,” helium said, calling Kelly “out of touch.”

In a video launching his campaign, helium besides highlighted his grounds arsenic authorities lawyer general, past vocation arsenic a authoritative and his family's emigration to the U.S. from erstwhile Yugoslavia.

He’ll look dense contention for the nomination. Business proprietor Jim Lamon and Retired Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire are some already running. Lamon has already begun moving TV ads successful the race, including airing an advertisement connected borderline information that ran connected Fox News successful New Jersey, location to Trump’s Bedminster play club.

Blake Masters, the main operating serviceman of Thiel Capital, is besides a imaginable candidate, and Peter Thiel is investing $10 cardinal successful a ace PAC to boost him. Rep. Andy Biggs has floated a imaginable candidacy arsenic well.

Once a Republican stronghold, the GOP has mislaid a fig of high-profile races successful Arizona during the Trump era. Trump carried the authorities successful 2016, but narrowly mislaid it successful 2020. Democrats flipped some of the state’s Senate seats: now-Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won successful 2018, and Kelly flipped the state’s different spot successful a 2020 peculiar election. He is connected the ballot successful 2022 moving for a afloat word and already had astir $4.4 cardinal currency successful the slope arsenic of March 31.

After losing ground, Republican divisions person lone deepened. The audit of Maricopa County ballots, which has been tally by a backstage steadfast and frustrated a fig of Republicans successful the state, remains ongoing contempt the disapproval that it is poorly tally and should not beryllium considered legitimate.

Brnovich certified the predetermination results successful November alongside GOP Gov. Doug Ducey and Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is present moving for governor. But Brnovich is successful an awkward presumption connected the audit. Trump has issued respective statements precocious criticizing him, calling him “lackluster” and saying helium had “done small truthful acold connected Voter Integrity and the 2020 Presidential Election Scam” and needed to “step it up.”

Brnovich did not respond straight erstwhile asked astir Trump criticisms of his presumption oregon claims astir the election, lone saying that the erstwhile president was portion of a “growing database of radical that were frustrated implicit the 2020 elections.”

He said his bureau has supported the authorities Senate’s ineligible close to behaviour the audit. He did not accidental straight erstwhile asked whether the findings of the audit should beryllium trusted and accepted erstwhile it is complete.

“We volition spot what the Senate does. It's their audit,” Brnovich said. “And erstwhile they taxable a last study to us, past we volition instrumentality a look astatine that and find the champion people of action."

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