Former President Donald Trump blamed Maricopa County for alleged “voter fraud” after Republican Blake Masters, his endorsed senatorial candidate in Arizona, lost to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly. The race was called late Friday evening.
In a lengthy post on Truth Social, Trump claimed the result was “a scam” that could be attributed to “voter fraud” and that acting forces “stole the election,” which he said should be held again.“So in Maricopa County they’re at it again. Voting Machines in large numbers didn’t work, but only in Republican districts,” he wrote. “People were forced to wait for hours, then got exhausted or had other things to do and left the voting lines by the thousands.”
The former president said even Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who is running against Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, was affected by the delays.MIDTERM ELECTIONS 2022: LIVE UPDATES
“Even Kari Lake was taken to a Liberal Democrat district in order to vote. Others weren’t so lucky,” Trump wrote.He added: “This is a scam and voter fraud, no different than stuffing the ballot boxes. They stole the Electron from Blake Masters. Do Election over again!”
In another post, Trump called the election “tainted.” He added: “MACHINES BROKEN IN REPUBLICAN AREAS. A NEW ELECTION MUST BE CALLED FOR IMMEDIATELY!”
Kelly remained ahead of Masters by about 115,000 votes for most of Friday afternoon, as mail-in ballots continued to be tabulated in Maricopa County. The Fox News Decision Desk projected that Kelly won re-election in Arizona shortly after 10 p.m. Friday.
Trump backed Masters, a successful businessman, early in the summer and he later won the Arizona GOP primary in August.
The race remained under the national spotlight since the primaries as Republicans highly anticipated winning the seat, as it was one of the best pickup opportunities for them to do so.
A Republican victory would have secured them 50 seats in the U.S. Senate, one seat away with two remaining, of a majority.
The victorious Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, will now serve his first official term as Senator of Arizona, after he won a 2020 race against then-Sen. Martha McSally, a Republican who was appointed to serve the rest of John McCain’s term after he passed away while in office.
“Thank you to the people of Arizona for re-electing me to the United States Senate,” Kelly wrote in a statement to his supporters after the race was called. “From day one, this campaign has been about the many Arizonans – Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – who believe in working together to tackle the significant challenges we face. That’s exactly what I’ve done in my first two years in office and what I will continue to do for as long as I’m there.”
The state’s governor race between Lake and Hobbs remains undecided as of midnight on Saturday morning. Hobbs currently has a lead of more than 26,000 votes, although that lead is expected to narrow as more votes are counted.