Home>Feature>Republican Hopefuls in CD8 Already Throwing Haymakers

Blake Masters, Kari Lake, Mark Finchem and Abraham Hamadeh during more unified times long past, aka about a year and a half ago. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Republican Hopefuls in CD8 Already Throwing Haymakers

Hamadeh and Masters trade nastygrams on Twitter

By Ken Kurson, January 29, 2024 8:37 am

The August 6 Republican primary is more than seven months away, but things are already getting mighty chippy in the eighth congressional district.

The latest flare-up occurred over the weekend. On January 27, the Abe Hamadeh War Room account on Twitter took a shot at Blake Masters for failing to attend the Arizona GOP meeting.

“Blake Masters is a no-show (again) at the second biggest grassroots event of the year in Arizona. No surprise.”

The tweet is illustrated with a photo of Masters standing next to Mike Pence. I don’t get why a photo with the former Vice President is supposed to be disqualifying — there are photos of me in exactly the same pose! — but Pence certainly exudes the establishment vibe Hamadeh is hoping to attach to Masters.

The Masters campaign war room fired back immediately with a zinger of its own.

“Well, Blake was actually hanging out at home because he is recovering from pneumonia. And his wife, who is breastfeeding their newborn, also has the flu. We know Abe doesn’t have a wife or kids so he doesn’t know what that’s like. But we hope you had a good time regardless.”

Knowing exactly how Mrs. Masters feeds her infant may verge on TMI, and I suspect Blake’s not quite sincere in saying he hopes Hamadeh had a good time at the meeting. The point is clearly to contrast the image of a young nuclear family unit against the bachelor Hamadeh. There’s a long tradition in politics of suggesting that a never-married, childless candidate just might be bent, as they say in the UK—Cory Booker and Tim Scott have both faced those nasty insinuations.

Masters told the Globe this morning, “My team just felt it was out of line for him to take a cheap shot, when the reality is I’d have loved to be at that meeting, but am taking care of my sick family. It’s important for policymakers to understand what it’s like to raise a family in America today, but Abe has no clue.”

With the race already turning personal, expect things to get even testier as Election Day nears. Both candidates will likely have the cash needed to amplify negative messages—as will Speaker Ben Toma, who is also in the race.

The lethargic FEC has been painfully slow to post the candidates’ Q4 totals on its site (and count on the Globe to be all over it when that eventually occurs). But Masters put out a tweet over the weekend showing himself having raised an eye-popping $1.3 million. The Globe had already broken the story directly from Toma that he’d raised “ well over $300,000” and Hamadeh is counting on his own impressive $300k to be enhanced by a PAC that has about a million on hand.

In other words, there’ll be a lot of cash sloshing around CD8 this summer. And if the weekend’s sniping is any indication, plenty of it will be spent telling voters what a jerkoff the other guy is.

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