The GOP’s combative focus in Arizona has wowed Trump’s staunch supporters and concerned Republican insiders who have watched the party lose ground in the suburbs as the influence of its traditional conservative establishment waned in favor of Trump. A growing number of young Latinos and newcomers bringing in their more liberal policies from home have further violated the GOP.
“This is a time for the Republican election. Are we going to be the conservative party? Said Kirk Adams, a former State House spokesman and chief of staff for Ducey. “Or is this a party … that stays true to one person?”
It’s a Republican identity issue that party officials and activists face across the country following Trump’s 2020 loss, especially after a crowd of his supporters besieged the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Nowhere is the question more acute than in Arizona, where the GOP’s unwavering loyalty to Trump is evident even in a party that has been remade everywhere in the image of the former president.
Ward has sued relentlessly – but unsuccessfully – to reverse the election results. The party has used its social media accounts to rally followers to fight, and maybe even die, in support of Trump’s false claims to victory. Two of the state’s four Republican Congressmen are charged with playing a role in organizing the violent rally on January 6th.
Having dominated Arizona politics for decades, Republicans are now hot on the heels of the highest offices in the state. President Joe Biden narrowly celebrated a victory here and became only the second Democrat to win the state in more than five decades. Successive victories in 2018 and 2020 gave the Democrats control of both seats in the U.S. Senate for the first time in nearly 70 years.
Ward, a doctor and former lawmaker who lost two Republican Senate primary elections, defeated three challengers and won a second term.
In a brief interview, Ward admitted “disappointment at the top of the ticket” but said she and many other Republicans are still questioning the results that victories show for Biden and Democratic Senator Mark Kelly. The judges have denied eight lawsuits against the Arizona election results.
Pointing to the GOP’s successes in voting, Ward noted that Republicans defied expectations at local races.
Ward said she was a “Trump Republican” who “will always put America first, believing in faith, family and freedom.” The way for the GOP, she said, is to employ Trump’s 74 million voters.
“Yes, I’m going to be radical about these things because those are the things that make this country great,” said Ward. “The people who complain are the people who actually got us to this place where we are in Arizona. People who were mamby pamby lie down and let the Democrats run over them.”
The censure is directed against some of the most prominent Republicans in Arizona.
Cindy McCain supported Biden and became a powerful surrogate mother for the Democrat after years of attacks by Trump on her husband. After the vote, she wrote on Twitter: “It is a great honor to be part of a group of Arizonans who have served our state and our nation so well.”
“I will wear this as a badge of honor,” she wrote.
Also after the vote, Flake tweeted a photo of him with McCain and Ducey at Biden’s inauguration and wrote, “Good company.”
Flake was one of the few Congressional Republicans to openly criticize Trump for not adhering to conservative values. He declined to run for re-election in 2018 and endorsed Biden in last year’s election.
“If it is necessary to tolerate the behavior of the president in order to stay in good hands with the party, then I’m fine,” wrote Flake on Twitter before and after the vote.
Ducey is being targeted to contain the spread of COVID-19 because of its restrictions on individuals and businesses. Although not mentioned in the proposed review, he had a high profile break with the president when he signed the certificate of Biden’s victory.
“These resolutions have no consequence and the people behind them have lost everything