Libertarian candidate Marc Victor announced in a video posted to social media early Tuesday that he was dropping out of the race and endorsing GOP candidate Blake Masters, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly.
“This video is going to make some people very upset. It’s also going to make some other people very happy. I don’t really care about any of that. I’m for freedom and I’m for peace and I’m for civility and I’m not going to compromise my integrity for any purpose, period,” he said to start out.
Victor explained that the reason that he ran for Senate was to promote “freedom and peace and civility.”
“I recognize the Senate race is really big because one party or the other is going to control the United States Senate,” he said. “I get that.
“But it’s not as big as the global peace movement. I think we need to unite the reasonable people of the world around a philosophy that we call ‘Live and Let Live.’”
He then announced that he was pulling out of the race after having a conversation with Masters and ascertaining that the Republican candidate was working to move things in the right direction.
“It’s my judgment that it’s in the interests of the Live and Let Live Global Peace Movement for me to step down with my campaign and urge people not to vote for me, not to vote for Mark Kelly, but to vote for Blake Masters,” Victor said, “because given where we are right now, and given our options right now, Blake Masters is the best choice for United States Senate.
Do you think there will be a red wave?
“So that’s exactly what I’m asking you to do. That’s right. Don’t vote for Marc Victor for Senate. Vote for Blake Masters. Blake’s in a very tight race here with Mark Kelly, and I want to see him win.”
The Libertarian candidate went on to share the video of his conversation with Masters.
Victor had been very low in the polls. A Monday survey by OH Predictive Insights had him polling at 3 percent to 48 percent for Kelly and 46 percent for Masters. Three percent were undecided.
Masters has been gaining ground, however, and Victor’s support could boost that trend. FiveThirtyEight, which showed Kelly ahead by double digits in mid-August, now has the Democrat with just a 3-point lead.
With Republicans battling for control of the Senate in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, and Arizona race could play a big role in determining that outcome.
In a statement posted on Twitter by Masters’ press account, Victor said he and the GOP candidate had had “an unscripted, open, and recorded discussion and exchange of ideas on a variety of issues.”
“We discussed the economy, taxation, foreign policy, existential threats, education, the Federal Reserve, energy policy, guns, immigration, abortion, the drug war, separation of church and state, same-sex marriage, and euthanasia,” he said. “I found Blake to be generally supportive of the Live and Let Live Global Peace Movement.”
Masters also issued a statement about Victor’s decision, saying, “This is another major boost of momentum as we consolidate our support against the extreme and radical policies of Mark Kelly and Joe Biden.”
— Blake Masters for U.S. Senate Press (@MastersPress) November 1, 2022
“Marc Victor joins a growing list of Arizonans from across the political spectrum who are fed up with open borders, big government corruption, and rising crime. We are building a broad coalition to defeat the worst Senator in America,” he said.
Kelly had not commented on Victor’s withdrawal and endorsement of his opponent by late Tuesday morning.