Havasu’s Kelli Ward seeking top state GOP post

November 28, 2018

Former U.S. Senate candidate Kelli Ward announced Monday that she’ll be pursuing leadership over Arizona’s Republican Party.

Ward will run for chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party in January. She is expected to face incumbent chairman Jonathan Lines, and the vote will be decided by GOP committee members in a biannual meeting among Arizona Republicans.

“I think that the Republican Party needs to unite so we can win in 2020 and beyond so the party’s ideals of small government, low taxes, personal accountability and abiding the Constitution can be upheld and propelled forward,” Ward said in an interview with Today’s News-Herald.

The former state senator and U.S. Senate candidate believes her experience in Arizona politics make her more than qualified for the position.

“I don’t think anyone knows the Republicans of Arizona better than I do, especially the party faithful,” Ward said. “I think we’re going to inspire people to get involved. We want to make sure our election process is upheld, that it has integrity and that people have faith in the process.”

According to Ward, the integrity of Arizona’s election process was left in question after this year’s election.

“One of the party’s roles is clearing that up,” Ward said. “We want to make sure that every legal vote is counted and that people who shouldn’t be voting aren’t able to. One of the biggest things coming up in the next couple of years is the independent redistricting commission. We want to make sure we have representation that’s fair to all parties involved. The last time redistricting lines were drawn they heavily favored Democrats – that’s what gave us Kyrsten Sinema.”

Ward says change will be needed if Arizona’s GOP is to thrive in future elections.

“I think that if we don’t change our strategy and change the leadership within our party, things could go badly for us,” Ward said.

“I’m willing to put myself out there one more time to get us on the right path,” Ward said. “This was a pretty dismal year for Republicans across the board … we lost Senate seats that we’ve held for 23 years. We saw a Democrat majority in the House, and we lost the race for Secretary of State. I’m not faulting Republicans – there was a lot of work put in. But the strategy that was implemented up front didn’t work. We have to make a change, and I can do that.”

Despite her past two campaigns for the U.S. Senate, including this year’s effort for the seat held by departing Jeff Flake and the 2016 effort to oust John McCain, Ward has no intention of trying again.

“It’s really very, very far down anything I’m considering right now,” Ward said. “The Arizona Party Chair is a great fit for me and our state. I want to get there and serve in that capacity so we can have a resounding win in 2020.

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