PHOENIX – Arizona Republicans voted on Saturday to condemn Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP officials who were crucified with former President Donald Trump.
The judgment of Senator John McCain’s widow, former Senator Jeff Flake, and Governor Doug Ducey is purely symbolic. But they show the party’s infantry soldiers are focused on enforcing allegiance to Trump, even after an election that has separated Arizona a few inches from its convincing Republican roots.
Party activists also recalled the disputed President Kelli Ward, who was one of Trump’s most adamant supporters and the most effective advertiser of unfounded allegations of election fraud.
The Arizona GOP’s militant focus delighted Trump’s most loyal supporters and anxious Republican insiders who watched the party’s off-road threat in the suburbs while the impact of its traditional conservative establishment faded in Trump’s favor. Growing voters of Latin youth and newcomers who pursue more liberal policies have further hurt the GOP.
“This is election time for Republicans. Will we be a conservative party? Kirk Adams, the former Speaker of the State House and Chief of Staff, told Ducey. “Or is it a party … loyal to a single person?”
The issue of Republican identity faced by party officials and activists across the country following Trump’s loss in 2020, and especially after a mass of supporters besieged the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
Nowhere is the issue more acute than in Arizona, where the state’s unwavering loyalty to the GOP to Trump is evident even in a party that has been transformed into the image of the former president everywhere.
Ward relentlessly – but unsuccessfully – sued to overthrow the election results. With its social media accounts, the party has encouraged followers to fight and perhaps even die in support of Trump’s false victory claims. Two of the state’s four Republican congresses are accused of playing a role in organizing the January 6, violent protest.
After decades of Arizona politics, Republicans now find themselves in the highest positions in the state. President Joe Biden has barely won here, becoming more than the second Democrat to win the state in more than five decades. Successive victories in 2018 and 2020 have handed over control to both seats in the U.S. Senate after nearly 70 years.
Doctor Ward, a former state legislature who lost two Republican presidential elections in the U.S. Senate, defeated three challengers to win the second term.
In a brief interview, Ward acknowledged “disappointment at the top of the ticket,” but said he and many other Republicans continue to question the results of Democratic Senator Biden and Mark Kelly’s victory. Judges dismissed eight lawsuits against the Arizona election results.
Ward pointed to the GOP’s success in the vote, noting that Republicans defied expectations in local competitions.
According to Ward, “Republican Trump,” who “always puts America first, who believes in faith, family, and freedom,”. For the GOP, the move says it will employ Trump’s 74 million voters.
“Yeah, I’m going to be radical about these things because these things hold this country great,” Ward said. “The people who complain, the people who really put us in this place where we are in Arizona, the people who were immersive, lie down and allow the Democrats to walk through them.”
Censorship targets Arizona’s most prominent Republicans,
Cindy McCain supported Biden and became a strong Democrat deputy after years of Trump’s attacks on her husband. He targeted the state party in support of “left-wing affairs,” including gay marriage.
“Perhaps (Ward) it should be recalled that my husband has never lost the Arizona election since his first victory in 1982,” McCain said in a pre-vote statement.
Flake was one of the few congressional Republicans to openly criticize Trump for failing to adhere to conservative values. In 2018, he declined the possibility of re-election and approved Biden in last year’s election.
“If acceptance of the president’s behavior is necessary for me to remain in the good grace of the party, I’m fine to be out,” Flake wrote on Twitter before the vote.
Ducey is targeted because of its restrictions on individuals and businesses to curb the spread of COVID-19. Although the proposed distrust is not mentioned, it was given a lot of emphasis with the president when he signed the certificate of Biden’s victory.
“These resolutions have no consequences, and the people behind them have lost the meager moral authority they could ever have,” said Sara Mueller, Ducey’s political director.
Many traditional conservatives are worried that censorship and Ward’s militant style will turn off the swing voters and ticket dealers who handed over their latest victory to Democrats. But they say the party’s decisions will only reflect the views of about 1,500 committed activists.
John McCain was censored by the state GOP in 2014 and conveniently won the Republican pre-election over Ward and a general election. The self-described maverick, best known for his party’s willingness, has maintained close ties to citizenship for much of his career, but has been consistently elected with a wide variety.