Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Thursday his candidacy for the state’s 2022 Senate race, touting what he described as his “proven track record” in fighting tough battles against the federal government and big corporations.
“I’m a fighter,” Brnovich told Fox News in an interview Thursday. “As attorney general, I’m no stranger to tough battles, I’ve sued the federal government numerous times, taken on the political elites here in Arizona, taken on huge corporations, international corporations in state court, I’ve fought back against my own party when it required it and so i have a proven record doing the right thing in the right way and standing up for Arizona values.”
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Brnovich becomes the third Republican to announce his candidacy in what is expected to be a right race against incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and that could determine which party controls the chamber.
Brnovich, who was elected attorney general in 2014 and re-elected in 2018, has launched a number of lawsuits and legal efforts on everything from Big Tech to the Biden’s administration’s border policies.
Brnovich’s office has sued Google over its privacy and location tracking – a lawsuit that revealed employee concerns about its policies. He has also defended Arizona’s controversial election integrity laws and sued the state’s Board of Regents over increasing tuition.
This year, he has focused efforts on the Biden administration’s border and immigration policies in particular. His office has been part of lawsuits challenging the Biden administration’s interim guidance on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportations and arrests, and challenging its ending of border wall construction. It has also led efforts to defend the Trum-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and public charge rules.
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Other battles his office has waged include suits over the Biden administration’s regulatory carbon policy and leading briefs challenging laws in other states that ban high-capacity magazines. He cited that record as why he should be picked over less orthodox candidates in such a vital race for the state and the Republican Party.
“I think we need to nominate someone who has a proven track record of defending conservative and libertarian values, what I call Arizona values,” he said. “Now is not the time for amateurs of clowns or people who haven’t been vetted.”
However, he also described the race, and the decision to enter it, as something he initially saw as overwhelming — and noted his background as the son of immigrants who fled communism in the former Yugoslavia.
“When people asked me originally about running for U.S. Senate, the idea of a first-generation American, a public school kid sitting at the desk of Barry Goldwater was overwhelming,” he said. “But my wife and I prayed about it, we talked about it as a family and I feel really called to continue to serve Arizona in the capacity as a senator.”
Brnovich joins Michael “Mick” McGuire,’ a former adjutant general of the Arizona National Guard, and solar-business executive Jim Lamon in throwing his hat into the Republican primary.
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Sources close to Brnovich told Fox News that he had a positive conversation with former President Donald Trump over the weekend, in which they talked about the Senate race.
Lamon, a strong supporter of Trump, has already dished out hundreds of thousands of dollars to run TV ads and sent campaign mailers as he introduces himself to voters. Lamon has also been a major backer of the Arizona GOP, with his company heavily investing in state Republican efforts to register voters ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
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McGuire, a retired Air Force fighter pilot, stepped down in April after eight years of managing the daily operators of the state’s Army and Air National Guard as well as steering Arizona’s Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. He oversaw all of the guard’s COVID-related missions, from helping with vaccine distribution to distributing medical supplies to rural and tribal communities.
Tucson Republican and venture capitalist Blake Masters, who has the backing of Libertarian tech titan Peter Thiel, may jump into the race. Thiel, who co-founded PayPal, is reportedly infusing $10 million of his own money into the Saving Arizona PAC, to support Masters, who has served as chief operating office of Thiel Capital and president of the Thiel Foundation.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.