PHOENIX (AP) — Blake Masters, an ally of billionaire entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel, filed papers Friday to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona.
Masters joins a crowded field of Republicans looking to take on Kelly in one of the top-tier Senate races of 2022, which will help determine which party controls the upper chamber of Congress.
Masters has worked with Thiel for years and is currently the chief operating officer of Thiel Capital and president of the Thiel Foundation, according to his Twitter bio and LinkedIn profile. Together they wrote “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future,” published in 2014.
Thiel is a prolific Republican donor and is widely expected to spend millions supporting Masters’ campaign.
Masters formed a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission but did not make a formal announcement. He did not respond to an email or Twitter direct message from The Associated Press.
Masters considered challenging Republican Sen. Martha McSally last year but opted against running.
The other Republicans who have announced Senate bids are Attorney General Mark Brnovich, businessman Jim Lamon and retired Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, the former head of the Arizona National Guard.