Jim Lamon is the first Republican to compete in the Arizona Senate race in 2022

Jim Lamon, chairman of a solar energy company and supporter of former President Donald Trump, has launched a campaign in the US Senate, hoping to oust incumbent Senator Mark Kelly.

Lamon, 65, a Paradise Valley resident who grew up on a farm in Alabama before serving as an airborne officer engineer for the U.S. military, is the first Republican to embark on a race that could be the heart of the party’s chances to regain the majority of the Senate. in 2022. He is the founder and chairman of the board of directors of Scottsdale-based Depcom Power, a solar engineering and construction company that employs 1,600 people across the country.

Lamon has privately assessed how he might behave in a post-Trump GOP primary environment, where several well-funded candidates are expected to run. Throughout the 2020 cycle, he attended numerous campaign events supporting Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Lamon introduced himself to voters on Monday in a biographical video.

“I have spent my career empowering people,” he said in his announcement video. “But we all know there is another kind of power. Some people have a lot of them, but others have hardly any. ”

Lamon came out swinging against the trillions passed by Congress in COVID-19 relief funds and the “political and media elites” who he said have “the power to divide and distract us, to amplify the anger, lies and suppress the reasonable, “while increasing the nation’s debt.

“Here in America, we have the power to take their power away from them,” Lamon said in the video. “I want to take money and power out of Washington, DC, and give it back to you.”

He did not immediately respond to the Arizona Republic’s efforts to reach him.

Lamon, who served in Germany during the Cold War, donated to all Republican Bands. He made political contributions to Trump, to unsuccessful GOP Senate candidate Kelli Ward, who now chairs the Arizona Republican Party, to Kris Kobach, the former Kansas Secretary of State who lost a GOP primary for the Senate in 2020, and former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who stood up to Trump and did not run for re-election in 2018.

For the moment, Lamon is entering a GOP primary notably lacking in candidates.

Rep Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Has been considering running for months, as did Major General Michael McGuire, retired Arizona Adjutant General. Others, such as Blake Masters, the Tucson Republican with nearly billionaire Peter Thiel and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich could also be in a run.

Anyone coming out of the Republican side will face Kelly, one of the best-funded Democrats in the 2020 election cycle. As a sign of financial strength, Kelly brought in $ 4.4 million in the last quarter. He remains relatively popular after five months of work and, as an incumbent, will likely see even more interest from left-wing supporters keen to keep the Senate under Democratic control.

Jeff DeWit, one of Trump’s early allies in the 2016 election cycle and former NASA CFO who served as COO of Trump’s 2020 Campaign, now works as CEO of Superfeed Technologies, Inc . and is listed on the Depcom Power website as a chef. investment agent.

DeWit, who will chair Lamon’s campaign, called him a “committed conservative who will put America first, secure our border and streamline the federal government.”

In an email announcing his race, Lamon said he would “put America first”, secure the border and make the federal government more efficient.

If elected, he would donate his salary and refuse a government pension, according to his announcement.

The winner of the 2022 race will take the seat once held by the late Senator John McCain, R-Ariz, for a full six-year term.

Kelly, D-Ariz., Won the seat in 2020 after toppling former Senator Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Who was named after McCain’s death.

Sarah Guggenheimer, spokeswoman for the Arizona Democratic Party, said Lamon’s entry into the race marked the start of “what will inevitably be a chaotic and brutal primary cycle” for the GOP.

“Lamon’s entry makes it clear that this primary will be a confused competition from Republicans who will not resolve the issues that matter most to Arizonans (and not Arizonans),” she wrote in a statement, referring to the archaic term used on Lamon’s website.

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