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Peter Thiel puts more money behind Masters as McConnell group refuses

Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor who pumped $15 million into a super PAC that made Blake Masters the Republican nominee for the Arizona Senate, plans to spend a whopping $5 million more in the race, according to people in the know. with the case.

The additional spending would be a turning point for Thiel, who had previously indicated that he would not make a financial commitment in the general election.

He previewed his updated plans, which have not been previously reported, in talks this week with a representative from a PAC affiliated with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Thiel suggested that he and the PAC each deposit $5 million behind Masters, a friend and former employee of the venture capitalist.

But Steven Law, who heads the McConnell-affiliated group, the Senate Leadership Fund, told Thiel on Thursday that he could not find the resources to make that commitment, according to these people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to share private information. The PAC had previously canceled $9.6 million in ads initially set aside for the race, citing costs elsewhere and spending by other conservative groups to boost Masters.

A spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund declined to comment. A spokesperson for Thiel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Discussions over a possible joint contribution were first reported by Axios, and Law’s response Thursday was first reported by Politico.

Thiel’s thinking about additional spending has evolved as the race, which Masters wants to evict Senator Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), has stayed close, according to people who spoke with him. Kelly has enjoyed a significant financial advantage, with a reserve of nearly $25 million in its latest reporting period, which ran through mid-July, compared to $1.5 million for Masters.

In a series of phone calls over the summer previously reported by The Washington Post, Thiel indicated to McConnell and his associates that he had no intention of spending more than the $15 million he contributed to a pro-election campaign. Masters PAC, called Saving Arizona. His stance at the time was that McConnell’s group should issue for a Senate majority, and an additional cash injection from him could be used as a Democratic talking point.

The early voting in Arizona has already begun. County recorders began sending ballots on Wednesday, also the first day polling stations could open for personal early voting.

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