(KYMA, KECY/ AP NEWS) - Solar energy entrepreneur Jim Lamon has kicked off a campaign for U.S. Senate, becoming the first Republican to take on Democratic Senator Mark Kelly in next year's election.
Lamon now enters what could be a very crowded field of Republicans seeking the GOP nomination in one of the highest-profile 2022 U.S. Senate races. He also joins the race in his first-ever run for office and not well known to voters.
Lamon founded DepCom Power, a Scottsdale-based firm that engineers and builds utility scale solar plants. He stepped down as CEO to focus on his Senate run but remains chairman.
He said he plans to draw heavily on his experience as a Republican working in the solar power field and has made a conservative case in favor of renewable energy.
His work will be cut out for him though, running against one of the most successful Democrats in Arizona. Mark Kelly won by 2.4 percentage points last year despite Arizona being a Republican stronghold. Kelly was also one of the most prolific fundraisers in the country in 2020, and now raising $4.4 million during the first quarter of 2021.
Lamon said he plans to run with a combination of his own fortune and contributions from donors. His own contribution totals "seven digits," he said.
Lamon was one of Donald Trump's 11 presidential electors in Arizona and would have represented the state in the Electoral College if Trump won the 2020 election.