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Blake Masters, a Republican candidate in Arizona's U.S. Senate race, rejected the endorsement Friday of Andrew Anglin, the creator of neo-Nazi blog site Daily Stormer.
"I’ve never heard of this guy and I reject his support. The reason I’ve never heard of him is because he’s a nobody, and nobody cares about him except the media," Masters told The Arizona Republic in a written statement. "They’d like to build him up in order to smear anybody who believes in common sense border security as some kind of 'Nazi.' It’s a cheap tactic from (Democratic incumbent Sen.) Mark Kelly’s media allies and it’s not going to work."
Masters, a venture capitalist who has long been associated with PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, received Anglin's backing a week after he won the coveted endorsement of former President Donald Trump last month.
Anglin endorsed Masters June 9 on his site.
“I cannot give a more forceful endorsement, and I demand that anyone in Arizona (who is not some kind of known neo-Nazi or whatever) get in contact with his campaign and see what kind of help he needs,” Anglin wrote in an endorsement first reported by JewishInsider.
It's unclear when Masters learned about the neo-Nazi endorsement.
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The Southern Poverty Law Center says Daily Stormer, whose name comes from the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, is a neo-Nazi website that espouses antisemitic and white nationalist views. The organization cites numerous quotes from Anglin, including: “The day is coming when we’re going to tear down the hoax (Holocaust) memorial in Berlin and replace it with a statue of Hitler 1,000 feet tall.”
Trump, who gave Masters his blessing on June 2, faced controversy over his handling of the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition, in his first presidential debate against President Joe Biden, Trump did not clearly condemn the extremist group the Proud Boys.
Masters faces a crowded field in the primary race to become the Republican nominee for Senate. The other candidates are: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich; former solar executive Jim Lamon; retired Arizona National Guard Adjutant General Michael "Mick" McGuire; and Arizona Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson.
The winner of the Aug. 2 GOP primary will face incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., in the Nov. 8 general election.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Trump-backed Blake Masters rejects neo-Nazi site founder's endorsement