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Pence backs Masters in Arizona Senate race at Phoenix event

Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared alongside GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters in Arizona at an event focused on school choice, endorsing the Senate hopeful after being at odds with former President Trump during the state’s primary season.

Pence joined Masters and outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) for an event in Phoenix sponsored by Club for Growth. While Pence and Ducey have long been allies, and school choice is an issue Pence has promoted for years.

But Pence’s endorsement of Masters came after a bitter Arizona GOP primary in which Pence backed Karrin Taylor Robson in the gubernatorial race and stayed out of the Senate race, while Trump endorsed Masters and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

Pence and Masters spoke separately at the Club for Growth event, but Pence appeared alongside Masters behind a podium bearing his campaign sign to endorse him.

“I must tell you it’s a special privilege for me to come to the Grand Canyon state to tell the people of this state that Arizona and America need Blake Masters in a Republican majority in the United States Senate,” Pence said.

NBC reporter Vaugh Hillyard, who was in Phoenix, reported that Pence did not mention Trump or Lake, who is running against Democrat Katie Hobbs in the gubernatorial race.

Masters, who rode Trump’s endorsement to victory in the GOP primary, is facing incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in one of the most closely watched Senate races this November.

A RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Kelly leading by 4 percentage points in the race, which a CNN poll conducted late last month shows Kelly ahead by 6 percentage points.

The two held their only scheduled debate last week.

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