Trump-backed candidates surge in Arizona primary, showing former president’s sway among Republicans

November 6, 2020 – Phoenix, Arizona / USA: Trump supporters protest outside of the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, to voice concerns over every vote being counted on November 6, 2020. — Photo by jkirshphoto

By Taylor Seely |Arizona Republic

Donald Trump-backed candidates pulled ahead in Arizona’s GOP primaries, showing, if early election results hold, a sign of the sway the former president still has over Republicans in the state.

Some races were too close to call early Wednesday but showed Trump’s preferred candidates leading in high-profile Republican races for Arizona governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, Arizona attorney general and secretary of state.

Trump-endorsed Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence, were in a virtual tie in the race for the GOP nomination for governor. 

The winner will face Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s current secretary of state, who easily won the Democratic nomination for governor.  

Republican Blake Masters, who’s backed by both Trump and tech investor Peter Thiel, was declared the U.S. Senate primary winner by the Associated Press after building a lead over former solar power executive Jim Lamon and Mark Brnovich, the current Arizona attorney general. Masters will face Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly in the November general election. 

Mark Finchem was declared the Republican primary winner in the secretary of state race, and Abe Hamadeh led his competitors for attorney general. Both men were Trump-endorsed, and both denied Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election in Arizona.

If Finchem wins the Republican primary, he may face Adrian Fontes, the Democratic candidate who was leading Reginald Bolding. The secretary of state oversees elections, among other duties. 

If Hamadeh maintains his lead, he would face Kris Mayes, the only Democrat running for attorney general. 

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