The favorite in the Arizona Republican primary for the US Senate was criticized as a snake oil salesman by an old friend who was the best man at his wedding.
Mother Jones published an extensive profile Monday of Blake Masters, a political newcomer and venture capitalist backed by former President Donald Trump in the race to take on Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.).
Among those interviewed was Masters’ best man, Collin Wedel, now a partner in a corporate law firm in California. Wedel said his brothers alerted him to tweets from the Masters account last year, and he responded to one in November that called coronavirus vaccine mandates evil.
“What a shame,” Wedel replied from his private account. “I am so completely disappointed in what you have done to yourself. People will get sick and die because of your reckless rhetoric. As someone who loved and respected you: What happened to you?
Masters responded with a screenshot of the tweet, which he shared with his tens of thousands of followers. Wedel was harassed by callers at work and at home, and called police after receiving threatening materials in the mail.
“Collin was a best friend growing up. He told me about the famous class where I met Peter Thiel, and he was the best man at my wedding,” Masters told his followers. “The most lethal virus we face is progressivism, it rots brains and nations. I wish Collin the best, but freedom is worth losing friends for.”
Wedel said they had not spoken since that exchange.
“I don’t know which is worse,” he said. “Is he actually aware that he’s selling snake oil to people or does he really believe” what he’s telling voters.
Masters, who has the backing of tech billionaire Thiel, struggled to gain momentum earlier in his campaign but picked up steam after gaining support from Trump, who praised him for echoing the former president’s lies about the election. 2020.
Masters has also pushed racist conspiracy theories, including the baseless “great replacement theory,” which claims that white Christians are being deliberately replaced by immigrants, non-Christians, and other people of color.
Arizona will hold its primary on August 2.