Arizona GOP May Censure Ducey, Flake, McCain

Published: Friday, January 22, 2021 - 1:20pm

The Arizona Republican Party is holding its biennial convention on Saturday morning, where they’ll elect new party leaders and also consider censuring some of their own members.

An agenda for the party’s statutory meeting includes votes on censures of Gov. Doug Ducey, former U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain.

Ducey’s censure accuses the Republican governor of abusing his authority during the pandemic by declaring a public health emergency that has yet to expire.

As for Flake and McCain, their censures boil down to their lack of support for former President Donald Trump.

Both were outspoken critics of Trump during the 2020 campaign, and both endorsed President Joe Biden.

McCain laughed off the proposed censure during a recent appearance on "The View" — her husband John was censured by the state party several years ago, so she said she’ll be in a good company.

But she lamented the current state of the Republican Party, in Arizona and beyond.

“When I began in the Republican Party, officially, the Republican Party was the party of inclusion. It was the party of generosity, it was a party of country first,” McCain said. “We have lost our way. We have lost our way. And it's time that we get back on track.”

Grant Woods, a former Arizona Attorney General, said extreme measures like censures of fellow Republicans is nothing new for the state party. Woods said it’s always been dominated by extremists from the party’s far right.

“But now they bumped into Donald Trump. And that combination has just turned out to be deadly at the box office. And let's put it that way, you know, that the people are not responding,” Woods said.

Republican state committee members from across Arizona also will vote to elect the party’s leadership for the next two years.

Chair Kelli Ward, who’s drawn criticism for overseeing the party during an election in which Republican candidates lost the popular vote in Arizona for the U.S. Senate and presidency, is running for re-election.

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