Power executive Jim Lamon 1st Republican to enter Arizona's 2022 Senate race

Yvonne Wingett Sanchez
Arizona Republic
Depcom Power founder Jim Lamon, seen with Arizona Republican Party chairman Kelli Ward in Scottsdale on Aug. 28, 2019, announced his candidacy for Arizona's 2022 Senate race.

Jim Lamon, the chairperson of a solar power company and a supporter of former President Donald Trump, has launched a U.S. Senate campaign, hoping to oust incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly.

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

Lamon privately has been sizing up how he might perform in a post-Trump GOP primary environment, where several well-financed 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 Monday in a biographical video.

“I’ve spent my career bringing power to the people,” he said in his announcement video. “But we all know there’s another kind of power. Some people have a lot of it, but others have almost none.” 

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 us and distract us, to amplify the angry, the lies and suppress the reasonable," while adding to the nation's debt. 

“Here in America, we have the power to take their power away,” Lamon said in the video. “I want to take money and power away from Washington, D.C., 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, has donated to all stripes of Republicans. He has 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 Senate in 2020, and to former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who bucked Trump and did not run for re-election in 2018. 

For the moment, Lamon enters a GOP primary notably lacking candidates.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., has been considering running for months, as has Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, Arizona’s retired adjutant general. Others, such as Blake Masters, the Tucson Republican with close to billionaire Peter Thiel, and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich also could make a run.

Whoever emerges from the Republican side will face Kelly, one of the best-funded Democrats in the 2020 election cycle. In a sign of financial strength, Kelly brought in $4.4 million last quarter. He remains relatively popular after five months on the job and, as an incumbent, will likely see even more interest from left-leaning supporters eager to keep the Senate in Democratic control.

Jeff DeWit, one of Trump’s earliest allies of the 2016 election cycle and former CFO of NASA who served as chief operating officer of Trump's 2020 campaign, now works as chief executive officer at Superfeed Technologies, Inc. and is listed on Depcom Power’s website as chief investment officer.

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 run, 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 decline a government pension, his announcement said.

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

Kelly, D-Ariz., won the seat in 2020 after unseating former Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., who had been appointed after McCain’s death.

Sarah Guggenheimer, an Arizona Democratic Party spokesperson, said Lamon's entry into the race marks the start of "what will inevitably be a chaotic and brutal" GOP primary cycle. 

"Lamon's entry makes clear this primary will be a jumbled competition of Republicans failing to address the issues that actually matter most to Arizonans (not Arizonians)," she wrote in a statement, a reference to the archaic term used on Lamon's website. 

Have news to share about Arizona politics? Reach the reporter on Twitter and Facebook. Contact her at yvonne.wingett@arizonarepublic.com and 602-444-4712.

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