Eli Crane wins Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District

Eli Crane defeated six other candidates in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District on Aug. 2. With 72% of the expected vote counted, Crane had received 34% of the vote, Walter Blackman had received 24%, and Mark DeLuzio had received 18%.

Heading into the primary, Crane and Blackman led in endorsements and individual campaign contributions.

Crane, a Navy veteran and small business owner, said he was “an America First candidate who is pro-life, pro-second amendment, and has the courage to take a stand against cancel culture and the radical left.” Crane said, “I’m running for Congress because America is in trouble. The week after 9/11, I volunteered for the SEAL Teams. I’m ready to head back into the fight.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Crane on July 22. The National Border Patrol Council, Green Beret PAC, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Arizona Sens. Wendy Rogers (R) and Sonny Borrelli (R) also endorsed Crane.

Blackman, who was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2018, said he was the only candidate in the primary with the “values, experience, and commitment to public service necessary to take back [the Republican] majority[.]” Blackman said he would “continue [his] fight for border security, election integrity and against the culture war.” Blackman served in the U.S. Army for 21 years as a tank commander and sexual assault prevention specialist. After retiring from the Army, he founded a consulting firm. The Arizona Police Association, U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), Arizona House Majority Leader Ben Toma (R), Majority Whip Leo Biasiucci (R), and Speaker Pro-Tempore Travis Grantham (R) endorsed Blackman.

Steven Krystofiak, John W. Moore, Andy Yates, and Ron Watkins also ran in the primary.

According to data from Daily Kos, after redistricting, 64% of the new 2nd District’s population came from the old 1st District, represented by Tom O’Halleran (D). Thirty-six percent came from the old 4th District, represented by Paul Gosar (R). O’Halleran ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 2nd District.

Major independent observers rate the general election as Likely Republican or Lean Republican.