Staff on Arizona Republican Blake Masters’ congressional campaign shared inaccurate and misleading fundraising numbers with Fox News Digital last month ahead of filing a campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Masters’ campaign told Fox News Digital on Jan. 24 that the venture capitalist and conservative firebrand had raised $1.3 million in just the first two months after announcing his candidacy for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, but that amount was too high by nearly $200,000. Additionally, the campaign did not disclose that the vast majority of that sum — $1 million — was a personal loan from the candidate.
Masters’ FEC filing shows he only raised $1.16 million, not $1.3 million, from Oct. 26, when he officially launched his campaign, to Dec. 31, the end of the filing period. Of the $1.16 million, only $75,000 came in as contributions from individuals, while $88,000 came from Masters Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee.
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Then-Republican Arizona Senate nominee Blake Masters smiles on stage prior to a televised debate with Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and Libertarian candidate Marc Victor in Phoenix, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Masters’ $1 million dollar loan came on Dec. 28, just days before the end of the filing period. Without the loan, the campaign would have only raised around $163,000.
“I am honored by the support and trust placed in me by so many great people, including many supporters from my run for Senate as well as new donors who want to see more strong conservatives in Washington … The trust placed in me by so many gives us over $1M to spread this message and earn the GOP nomination,” Masters told Fox News Digital after his campaign reported the misleading data.
Fox News Digital has reached out to Masters’ campaign for comment.
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Then-Republican Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters speaks at a campaign event on the eve of the primary, also attended by gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake at the Duce bar on August 01, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Masters first gained national name recognition after coming out on top in a contentious primary race for Senate in 2022. He ultimately lost that race to Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and was reportedly considering running for Senate again in 2024 before deciding to run for Congress instead.
Elections analysts view Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, which encompasses a chunk of the northern Phoenix suburbs, as a safe Republican seat. It’s currently represented by Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko, who announced last year she would not seek re-election.
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Masters faces a crowded primary field that includes former Rep. Trent Franks, who previously represented Arizona’s 2nd and 8th Congressional Districts for a combined seven terms, state Sen. Anthony Kern, state Rep. Ben Toma, and former Maricopa County prosecutor Abraham Hamadeh.
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