Republicans Score Big Win in Race for Key Senate Seat After Libertarian Candidate Exits

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Libertarian Senate candidate Marc Victor has dropped out of the Arizona race and endorsed GOP challenger Blake Masters against incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.).

Polls have shown that the race between Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, and the former President Donald Trump-endorsed Masters is close with just a week to go before the midterm elections.

“I found Blake to be generally supportive of the Live and Let Live Global Peace Movement,” Victor said in a statement on Tuesday confirming he is dropping out of the race. “Likewise, we found ourselves in general agreement about how to improve America and advance the cause of freedom and peace. After that discussion, I believe it is in the best interests of freedom and peace to withdraw my candidacy and enthusiastically support Blake Masters for United States Senate. I intend to assist in any way reasonably possible to elect Blake.”

In polls taken since mid-October, Victor’s support ranged from 1 percent to as much as 6 percent, according to RealClearPolitics.

During the 2012 Senate race won by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Victor took about 4.6 percent, or 102,000 votes, according to AZCentral. Democrat Richard Carmona lost to Flake by about 68,000 votes.

Kelly, meanwhile, defeated GOP incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) by about 2 percent during the 2020 election. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) defeated McSally in 2018 by just over 1 percent, data show.

Masters welcomed Victor’s endorsement and said he “joins a growing list of Arizonans from across the political spectrum who are fed up with open borders, big government corruption, and rising crime.” Before Victor’s exit, Masters appeared to be trying to draw support from Libertarian voters, having recently posted a photo of himself with former Texas Libertarian Rep. Ron Paul.

“We are building a broad coalition to defeat the worst Senator in America,” Masters said in a statement. “This is another major boost of momentum as we consolidate our support against the extreme and radical policies of Mark Kelly and Joe Biden. Live and Let Live.”

Following the announcement Tuesday, Kelly—who is the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.)—has not issued a public statement.

By Jack Phillips

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