Feb 5, 2024 - News

Hamadeh's brother commits $1 million in 8th District primary

A smiling man stands in front of a large display featuring a copper star with red and yellow stripes radiating from it.

Abraham Hamadeh in November 2022. Photo: Jon Cherry/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Abraham Hamadeh's brother tells Axios the $1 million he donated to a super PAC backing the Republican's congressional campaign is there to stay — and there's more where it came from.

Why it matters: A GOP primary victory will almost certainly translate into a general election win in the heavily Republican West Valley-based seat.

  • And the PAC's money will go a long way toward ensuring voters know Hamadeh is endorsed by former President Trump.

State of play: The latest campaign finance reports show the pro-Hamadeh Arizona's Bold Era (ABE) PAC has received nearly all of its money from the candidate's brother, Waseem Hamadeh.

Flashback: Waseem Hamadeh loaned his brother's failed attorney general campaign $1 million in 2022, then took it back. But the refund didn't show up on filings until months later — during which time Abraham Hamadeh secured Trump's endorsement.

  • The timing led some to question whether the money was intended to create false fundraising impressions.

Yes, but: Waseem Hamadeh tells Axios Phoenix he won't take back this year's donation and is committed to giving more if needed.

  • He said the attorney general loan was refunded because it wasn't needed yet, noting that he still contributed a significant sum. Filings show he ultimately gave $350,000.

What he's saying: "On this one … we have no intention to get anything refunded," Waseem Hamadeh says.

  • "And I've even made a commitment to the super PAC that if they need more capital, we're ready to fund more because Abe's the Trump-endorsed candidate and we're going to make sure he wins."

Zoom out: The Republican stronghold 8th District race is open after U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko opted not to run again.

Meanwhile: Blake Masters has the most money of any primary candidate, thanks to the $1 million he loaned himself.

  • Ben Toma follows with $340,000.
  • Hamadeh raised $272,000 but will also benefit from the ABE PAC money.
  • Anthony Kern brought in $115,000, nearly half of which he loaned himself.
  • Trent Franks submitted no report, saying he began fundraising only last month.
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