Arizona state Attorney General Mark Brnovich is running for Senate, he said Thursday, becoming the latest Republican to join the increasingly crowded primary to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in a top midterm battleground.
Brnovich is the first elected official to join the race and is the third major candidate in whats fast becoming one of the most contested primary elections in the country. But he also faces a challenge in winning over the Republican base, after former President Donald Trump has criticized him several weeks over the ongoing and controversial audit of the 2020 election in the state’s largest county.
Republicans will need to navigate the intra-party divisions in the state to have any hope of flipping the seat, which could be critical to their chances to win back the 50-50 Senate from Democrats. And Brnovich, who has won two statewide elections as attorney general, could be an attractive general-election candidate.
In an interview with POLITICO about his campaign launch, Brnovich said that he has spoken with Trump and other Republican leaders about his run, calling them good conversations but declining to go into specifics on what was discussed. He also did not answer whether he thought he could earn Trumps support after the criticisms, but said he would focus on representing conservative and libertarian Arizona values.