Peter Thiel-linked PAC resumes spending in Arizona — but without Thiel's money: report
Photo via Gage Skidmore

Somebody is attempting to rescue the embattled GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in Arizona, but exactly who is unclear.

"A super PAC financed chiefly by Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist, is reserving television airtime in Arizona starting on Friday, representing an infusion of money that could help Blake Masters, the Republican Senate nominee whom Mr. Thiel aided financially in the primary," The New York Times reported. "There has been much back-and-forth between the Senate Republican leadership and Mr. Thiel over whether he would spend on behalf of Mr. Masters, who is running against Senator Mark Kelly, a Democrat, in the general election."

There is apparently a twist, Politico reported. "Saving Arizona PAC, the outside group originally bankrolled by billionaire tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, on Friday will launch its first television ad for Masters since the Aug. 2 primary. This time, however, it’s without Thiel’s money."

Politico says the ad buy is for $1.5 million, but the ad tracking firm Medium Buying reports that so far the group has only reserved ads on Friday.

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"A person with knowledge of the ad buy who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that Thiel, who gave $13.5 million to the super PAC during the primary, has not donated additional money for the new spot, but declined to say who was funding it. While Thiel could invest more money in the race, 'the group is not relying on Peter Thiel’s largesse at this point,' the person said, and the super PAC is 'aggressively pitching' other Republican donors," Politico reported.

Masters' campaign has been struggling.

"Masters has been pummeled on air since the early August primary. Democratic ad spending in the race has totaled more than $20 million — more than triple the $6 million from Republicans," Politico reported. "Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, announced two weeks ago it was cutting $8 million, or roughly half of its initial reservation in Arizona. That meant SLF ads in support of Masters won’t begin airing until October."