News & Politics

Arizona GOP Leadership Calls on State Chairwoman to Resign

AP Photo/Ben Gray, File

Arizona Republicans are fed up. The Board of Supervisors in Maricopa County called for embattled Chairwoman Kelli Ward to step down, slamming her for promoting election “lies” and more debunked claims.

Ward demanded a recent audit of more than 2 million Maricopa County ballots from last November’s presidential election.

Auditors hired by the Republican-led state Senate delivered a report of their review Friday, again confirming President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump in the county by 45,109 votes. Biden defeated Trump in the Grand Canyon State by over 10,000 votes.

Supervisor Clint Hickman urged leadership, including Gov. Doug Ducey, to call on Ward to resign following the release of the state Senate’s election audit report and unrelenting claims about fraudulent ballots.

“She has caused a fracture in our party. She has operated outside of it for the purpose of helping herself,” Hickman said Friday.

Supervisor Bill Gates echoed Hickman’s words, noting that under Ward the Arizona GOP has “done nothing but push lies about our electoral system, ignore down ballot races, & lose federal & state elections under her leadership.”

For her part, Ward tweeted, “Many questions for Maricopa County as well as exposure of incompetence & possible malfeasance. A FULL SIGNATURE AUDIT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!”

Ducey, the popular two-term governor, quickly rejected demands to decertify the election.

“When it comes to the audit, like the three audits that preceded it, it’s now over. The outcome stands and the 2020 election in Arizona is over,” the Republican tweeted. “There will be no decertification of the 2020 election — the audit does not call for one, and even if it had, there is no lawful way to decertify. As we have every step of the way, Arizona will follow the law.”

 

Arizona did not vote Democrat statewide for decades until 2018, but Ward quickly drove the party into the ground in just two years, losing important races for numerous cycles. She also is a twice-failed U.S. Senate candidate who lashes out and censures those with opposing views, including a retired U.S. senator, the widow of a U.S. senator, and the current Republican governor.

Earlier this year, Ward joined a lawsuit against former Vice President Mike Pence, demanding he overturn the election results — something he could not legally do. Ward also used incendiary messaging, such as asking supporters to give their lives to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Related: What’s Next After the Maricopa County Audit?