Kelli Ward Wins Arizona GOP Chair Seat in Upset
Two-time U.S Senate candidate and former state legislator Kelli Ward won the Chair position of the Arizona Republican Party Saturday, in an upset victory over incumbent chairman Jonathan Lines.
The election for the position was held at a state party meeting at Church for the Nations in Phoenix, with votes cast by Arizona precinct committeemen and women. A final tally of votes was said to break for Ward, with 636 in her favor and 524 for Lines.
2018 had been a difficult statewide election for Republicans in Arizona, with congresswoman and party nominee Martha McSally losing a bitterly contested U.S Senate election to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. Ward had run against McSally for the nomination and lost, after challenging John McCain in a primary election in 2016. The deceased former Senator’s daughter expressed her disappointment with the outcome of the party chair election.
Conservative Precinct Committeemen expressed a desire for a fresh face as the leader of Arizona Republicans after a disappointing midterm election. Arizona, formerly reliably red, now more closely resembles a purple state in great part because of population growth, both in the form of Americans moving to the state from other parts of the country and immigration from outside the country.
It’s possible that the state could serve as one the most pivotal battleground states in 2020, likely being essential to President Trump’s re-election prospects.
Chairman Lines expressed his congratulations to Ward after her victory, exhorting his supporters to remain engaged in supporting the party.
Dr. Ward pledged to work to unify the Arizona Republican Party in order to bring about a resounding victory for President Trump and down-ballot Republicans in 2020.