Thiel drops another $1.5m for Masters as campaign feels money crunch

Lamon, a solar energy executive, loaned his campaign more than $14 million while Masters relied heavily on the support of Thiel, his longtime friend and employer. Masters earlier this year quit his job at Thiel Capital.

FEC filings this week showed that as of mid-July the Masters campaign had $1.5m in cash – but the bulk of that, $1.3m, cannot be used only in the general election because it came from donors who had already contributed the maximum amount for the main Masters campaign. In a final sprint before the primary, Masters loaned more money to his campaign, pumping in $639,000 over the past three weeks.

Lamon, meanwhile, has invested in his funds as well, now bringing in $437,894 in cash this month.

The contest for the Republican Senate nomination determines who will face the Democratic senator. Mark Kelly in November, a key election in the fight for control of the Senate.

To date, Lamon has spent over $9 million on television commercials, including a series of commercials attacking Masters’ ties to the tech world. The latest in Lamon’s attack ad series opens with a newly unearthed 2008 satirical video of Masters’ rap – lamenting that rappers don’t ‘get hoes’ – and features a clip of Masters earlier that year touting Ted Kaczynski, the “Unabomber,” as a “subversive thinker who is underappreciated. The ad ends by calling Masters a “Californian liberal.”

A spokesperson for Lamon’s campaign said the latest TV, broadcast and cable buy begins Saturday and will exceed half a million dollars.

Saving Arizona, meanwhile, lost $7.8 million on ads to boost the Masters — far exceeding the Masters’ $1.4 million on television, according to ad-tracking service AdImpact. Thiel also spent $15 million supporting JD Vance, another young business associate, who won the Republican Senate nomination in Ohio in May.

Masters also has the backing of Club for Growth and its aligned Crypto Freedom Fund, which have collectively spent nearly $3 million on ads in the race. The groups attacked Lamon for his business ties to China.

Polls released over the past month have shown Masters with a double-digit lead over Lamon, although at least a quarter of primary voters remain undecided, polls show.


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