Arizona GOP takes on new leaders ahead of 2024 election
Former Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit was elected state party chairman.
The Arizona Republican Party voted on new leadership as the state prepares itself again to be a battleground state in 2024.
In the party chairman’s race, former Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit was elected on the first ballot, winning 1,225 votes, or 71.8%. Former Arizona state house candidate Vera Gebran placed in second with 243 votes and activist Steve Daniels placed in third with 129 votes. Kelli Ward opted not to run for re-election after serving two terms starting in 2019.
“We need unity and we need it right now,” DeWit, endorsed by former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Congressman Paul Gosar, said in his speech before being elected.
“We will make Republicans win again,” he said.
And Jeff DeWit wins GOP chair.Gebran: 243DeWit: 1225Martinez: 50Muehling: 56Farley: 7Daniels: 129— Wayne Schutsky (@WayneSchutsky) January 28, 2023
The treasurer’s race was also contentious, as businessman Elijah Norton defeated current party Executive Director Pam Kirby on the first ballot, as there was controversy over the party’s spending in the last days of the campaign, including a bus tour and the election night party.
“We need to audit our state GOP,” Norton said in his pre-election speech met with cheers from the audience on numerous occasions.
Norton ran against Congressman David Schweikert in the Republican primary in 2022.
In other races, real estate agent Christine One Cothrun was voted secretary, and Robert Canterbury was voted as Sergeant at Arms.
The race for party leadership positions comes after mixed November election results. The top statewide ticket, gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, lost. Nonetheless, Republicans maintained their narrow legislative majorities, kept the treasurer’s office, and flipped the Superintendent of Public Instruction office and the Sixth Congressional District. In the gubernatorial race, Lake is appealing her election contest lawsuit ruling from December, which reaffirmed Gov. Katie Hobbs’s win.
In 2024, the party will most notably be facing a competitive United States Senate race for incumbent Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat.