Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward faces election recount calls

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Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward, who has spent months alleging without substantial evidence that widespread voter fraud cost former President Trump the 2020 presidential election, is now in the middle of claims of voting irregularities in her election for party chair.

The party held its annual meeting last Saturday, during which she narrowly won election over opponent Sergio Arellano, a small-businessman who was an advisory board member for Latinos for Trump.

But Arellano is now requesting an audit of the race after a separate race for an at-large position drew scrutiny. In a statement posted to Twitter early Thursday, he said he doesn’t think the audit will change the outcome of the election.

“I fully expect any audit to confirm the results that were announced at the State Meeting, but the errors that were made in the CD8 Member-at-Large election and the reversal of those results have created an environment where a number of state committeemen are raising concerns and asking me to ask for an audit because only a candidate for party office can do so,” Arellano wrote.

“So I’ve done that and we’re waiting for a response that lays out the when, where, and how of that process,” he continued.

Arellano was referring to an election for an at-large committee position for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. The Arizona Republic reported that Sandra Dowling, who was declared the winner of that race, was told she had lost due to “human error.”

Trey Terry, who is the treasurer of the GOP in the Legislative District that Dowling chairs, told The Hill that it was ironic that Ward is now facing these accusations given her staunch support of the former president.

“I cannot believe this is real,” Terry said. “The karma switch on this is almost near immediate. Like it’s almost something out of, you know, a script writer’s rough draft.”

Another source who was at the meeting told The Hill that the situation was the “height of hypocrisy” for Ward.

“To have this chairman who has gone out and damaged the democratic process in our state,” the source said. “And now you know she’s chairman of the party while this is all going on.”

The intraparty spat comes as Ward, a staunch ally Trump, fiercely promoted baseless claims of voter fraud in Arizona that were touted by the former president.

In response to news of the audit request, Meghan McCain, daughter of Cindy McCain, tweeted, “Ahahahahahahahaahahahaha!!!!! !!!”

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) also mocked the situation on Twitter, saying, “I demand an audit!!!”

The Arizona GOP didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

Last Saturday’s meeting also drew national attention because the party voted to censure McCain, along with Gov Doug Ducey (R), former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). 

Tags Arizona Donald Trump Doug Ducey GOP Jeff Flake Kelli Ward Meghan McCain Republican Party Ruben Gallego

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