Former DNI Ric Grenell pulls endorsement of Arizona candidate Lamon over ads bashing Peter Thiel

Silicon Valley conservative billionaire Peter Thiel is backing Lamon's opponent in the Arizona GOP Senate race, Blake Masters

Updated: June 16, 2022 - 10:10am

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Ric Grenell, who was an acting director of National Intelligence for the Trump administration, has pulled his support for Arizona GOP Senate candidate Jim Lamon, following a string of attack ads by his campaign including one on fellow conservatives PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. 

Thiel, a billionaire, is backing Blake Masters, who is competing against Lamon and several others in the GOP primary to challenge Arizona Democrat incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly in November.

"Attacking my friend Peter Thiel is a bad strategy that only helps elect Democrats" Grenell tweeted Wednesday. "Peter has been a champion of conservative values in Silicon Valley and has never wavered from challenging Big Tech."

Masters is a friend and protégé of Thiel's and served as chief operating officer of the Thiel Capital hedge fund and president of the Thiel Foundation. 

 

Masters also recently received the endorsement of former President Trump.

This is not the first time that Grenell has pulled an endorsement of a candidate who later failed to get Trump's backing.

Earlier this year, Grenell pulled his endorsement of Tennessee congressional candidate Robby Starbuck to endorse Trump-backed Morgan Ortagus.

Ortagus and Starbuck were subsequently kicked off the ballot by the Tennessee GOP.

Following Trump's endorsement of Masters, Lamon – who is self-funding his race – released a statement that read in part, "As a staunch supporter of President Trump’s America First policies, I am especially disappointed in his endorsement, but I don’t think Arizonans will nominate someone whose candidacy is a wholly owned subsidiary of a Big Tech, California billionaire, and who spent the majority of his adult life living and working in Silicon Valley until just a few years ago," making reference to Thiel.

In his statement, Grenell specifically targets Jeff Roe, the founder of Axiom strategies, a Republican consulting firm that is working with Lamon.

Roe has reportedly been meeting with Trump, possibly to discuss whether he'll seek reelection in 2024. 

Roe helped Republican Glenn Youngkin win Virginia's 2021 gubernatorial race and guided the neck-and-neck campaign of former hedge-funder David McCormick against Trump-backed Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate race that Oz won.