The Arizona Republican Party voted for new leadership as Arizona prepares to be a battleground state in the 2024 election.
In the party’s chairman election, Former Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit was elected on the first ballot, winning 71.8% of the vote. Former Arizona State House candidate Vera Gebran placed in second place and activist Steve Daniels placed in third.
And Jeff DeWit wins GOP chair.
— Wayne Schutsky (@WayneSchutsky) January 28, 2023
Kelli Ward did not seek re-election after serving two terms in 2019.
“We need unity and we need it right now,” DeWit said.
The newly elected chairman of the Arizona GOP was endorsed by former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
Prior to the election results, DeWit said, “We will make Republicans win again.”
Additionally, the treasurer’s race was quite heated. Businessman Elijah Norton defeated the current party Executive Director Pam Kirby on the first ballot. The results came after there was controversy over the party’s spending in the final days of the campaign.
Prior to winning, Norton said, “We need to audit our state GOP,” receiving cheers from the audience.
He ran against Congressman David Schweikert in the Republican primary in 2022.
Moreover, real estate agent Christine One Cothrun was voted secretary and Robert Canterbury was voted as Sergeant at Arms.
The change in the GOP leadership comes after an underperforming midterm election for the party.
Former President Donald Trump lost the state in 2020 and Republicans underperformed in the midterms.
In the 2022 elections, top Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake lost to Former Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
Lake is appealing her election contest lawsuit ruling from December 2022 that reaffirmed Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs’ win.
Nonetheless, Republicans were able to keep narrow legislative majorities, kept the treasurer’s office, and flipped the Sixth Congressional District of the state.
Arizona Republicans also called for Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel to resign. However, McDaniel was just re-elected to serve as chair of the RNC.
— One America News (@OANN) December 9, 2022
The party has also called for election integrity measures after allegations of election fraud in the state, specifically in Maricopa County.
In 2024, the party will face a competitive United States Senate race for Sen. Krysten Sinema’s (I-AZ) seat.