Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who’ve all faced clashes with former President Trump.
Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.
- Flake is a longtime Trump critic who joined the “Republicans for Biden” group last August.
- Ducey endured tirades from Trump after he didn’t overturn Biden’s win in the state, per Axios’ Jonathan Swan.
- AZCentral notes the governor was censured over emergency measures in response to the pandemic, which the state GOP said “restrict personal liberties and force compliance to unconstitutional edicts.”
Of note: All three of those censured attended Biden’s inauguration last Wednesday.
What they’re saying: Ward, who’s filed unsuccessful lawsuits attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, described herself as a “Trump Republican” who’ll “always put America first, who believes in faith, family and freedom,” AP reports.
- Ducey’s political director Sara Mueller said in a statement the people behind the inconsequential resolutions “have lost whatever little moral authority they may have once had.”
- McCain tweeted after the vote, “It is a high honor to be included in a group of Arizonans who have served our state and our nation so well…and who, like my late husband John, have been censured by the AZGOP. I’ll wear this as a badge of honor.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.