Not many people can name the chair of their state’s political party, much less the chair of another state’s. Yet Kelli Ward, a perennial losing Senate candidate, is well known across the land as the chair of the Arizona Republican Party—and that’s not a good thing. Kelli Ward was wacky before the GOP plunged into QAnon town, at one time just a conspiracy-laden, fringe joke. She was best known for holding town halls on Chemtrails, hanging out with the Bundys, and being a fierce defender of racist speech. Yet now the rest of Republican party has caught up with her, so she was selected to lead the Arizona GOP.
She has not disappointed.
She told anti-maskers to dress like healthcare workers when they protest. She asked her fellow state Republicans if they would be willing to commit for dying for Trump, because that’s normal. When insurrectionists stormed the Capitol and someone did die, however, she blamed “outside agitators.” She also thought this would be a good time for the Arizona state party to censure the three most popular Republican political figures: former Sen. Jeff Flake, John McCain’s widow Cindy McCain, and Gov. Doug Ducey, for the crime of …. refusing to support Trump’s efforts to overthrow the election.
She was all about “election integrity,” she said. Bet she didn’t think that would be thrown back in her face so soon.
Kelli Ward was challenged for state chair by numerous people, including Sergio Arellano, a small business owner in Tucson who lost his congressional bid during the 2018 blue wave. With Trump’s backing, Ward won—barely—with just 42 votes. However, doubts began to emerge when one of the announced winners for another race, a committee member from the 8th Congressional District, was falsely told that she had lost her race. Kelli Ward attributed it to “human error.”
The four challengers for the chair asked Ward for an audit of the ballots. In the words of Arellano:
This isn’t about the chairman’s race, this is about election integrity!
Ward should have been all over that, since those were very similar words she used when demanding an audit of the Arizona’s presidential results. Yet in a video response to all the challengers and doubters who wanted an audit of her race for chair, Kelli Ward told them there would be no such thing, and they could go pound salt.
These are the final, final results of that election!!
This was done without a hint of irony. Ward spent months alleging widespread voter fraud with no evidence, and even asked if people were willing to die to overthrow the election. But an audit for her own race? Get outta here.
Trey Terry is the treasurer of the GOP in the legislative district chaired by Sandra Dowling; she’s the one who was originally declared the winner in her race, then told she lost. Terry was livid and wasn’t having it.
It’s bad enough for the Republicans to have a civil war going on in their national party, but Kelli Ward is ensuring they have one at the state level—in a critical battleground state.
Arizona has a governor’s race in 2022; it’s another chance for the Democrats to take the state legislature. Arizona has shown the last two cycles that it is turning blue. Biden won it for the Democrats for the first time since 1948, and both senators are now Team Blue. Maricopa County, the largest county, was always red, but things have rapidly changed.
This is one state where the GOP really needs their A-game, but they brought Q instead. Expect Ward to watch her party lose all of the important races in 2022, and instantly declare fraud with no evidence. I promise you that will happen, and every outlet not named Fox or OAN will likely begin their interviews with her with something along the lines of “But going back to YOUR race in 2021….”
She really is the best candidate we could have hoped for.
HT to skohayes in comments for showing me this tweet. The line “you certainly don’t allow a challenger who lost an election to demand something they don’t have the right to” gets me every time 😛
Our own Dave in AZ is Secretary of the Cochise Democratic Party as well as a State Committee member. He pointed out that the AZ GOP General Meeting was held in a super spreader event at a megachurch, whereas the Dems did it via Zoom. He also pointed out that the Democratic State Chair is Raquel Terán, a native of the border town of Douglas, AZ in Cochise County.
No conspiracies, no asking people to sacrifice themselves for Biden, no civil war—just a very competent individual focusing on winning elections.
Oh, and she said she would be happy to provide an audit of her election if requested.
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