Blake Masters, a Republican running for the Senate in Arizona, criticised Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday night, saying that the top Republican should have spent more money on his campaign to defeat Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in the 2022 midterm elections.
According to The Associated Press, Kelly had a 51.6 percent to 46.3 percent lead over Masters in the state as of Friday night with 79 percent of the votes tabulated. The winner of the contest hasn’t been determined yet, though, because it’s unclear which party will dominate the upper chamber.
Masters claimed, in an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News, that the Arizona Senate race would have been decided by now if a super PAC affiliated with Mitch McConnell, the Senate Leadership Fund, had invested more funds in the race.
An enthusiastic Masters declared, “The folks who hold the purse strings, Senate Leadership Fund, Mitch McConnell – McConnell chose to spend millions of dollars fighting a fellow Republican in Alaska instead of aiding me in defeating Senator Mark Kelly.”
He continued, “Had he chosen to spend money in Arizona, this election would be gone, and right now we’d be celebrating a Senate Majority.
With fewer than three months to election day, the Senate Leadership Fund’s withdrawal of ad spending from Arizona in August caused issues for the Trump-backed GOP senatorial candidate.
According to AdImpact, the PAC cancelled their reservations for advertisements that were scheduled to broadcast in Arizona between September 6 and October 3. The $8 million in ads that were cancelled represented roughly half of what the group planned to invest in the state.
The PAC said in September that it will spend an additional $9.6 million on advertising for the race between October 4 and Election Day, but noted that most of the reservation had already been filled by outside conservative organisations.
Masters went so far as to urge Senate Republicans on Friday not to support McConnell for the role of GOP leader in the upper chamber, claiming that he is undeserving of it.
“So let’s not vote Mitch McConnell into leadership, my message to the people of America, and my message to actually my, the Republican senators, hopefully my future colleagues. He isn’t deserving of either minority or majority leadership, according to Masters.
Masters’ remarks follow those of other Senate Republicans who blamed McConnell for the failure of Republicans across to produce the “red tsunami” that pollsters and lawmakers alike had predicted.
Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Josh Hawley of Missouri, both Republicans, called for the postponement of the Senate leadership elections on Friday amid rumours that Sen. Rick Scott of Florida will make an unlikely run for McConnell’s position.
In an interview, Hawley stated that “Washington Republicanism” and McConnell’s choice to not present a viable alternative damaged the Republican Party on Election Day.