Dr. Kelli Ward will seek a second term as chairwoman of Arizona’s Republican Party, armed with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump and what she described as a “red wave” in November’s election.
Ward told The Western Journal that election integrity will be her No. 1 priority if she is able to continue in her current position.
The former Arizona lawmaker, who was elected GOP chairwoman in January 2019, fully supports the Arizona Senate’s push to audit Maricopa County’s ballots and Dominion Voting Systems machines to verify the accuracy of the presidential election, in which Democrat Joe Biden edged out Trump.
State Senate President Karen Fann announced Wednesday the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has agreed to turn over all subpoenaed information sought in relation to reviewing the integrity of November’s election.
Ward is wary of this commitment by the board, given the past couple of months of wrangling over the issue, which has included multiple trips to state court.
In late December, a state Superior Court judge affirmed the Senate Judiciary Committee’s right to enforce its subpoenas after the board went to court to try to block them.
“Now, there was no court order, and so we want to make sure that they actually do what they say this time because when we were in court, they said in open court they were going to do some things and they didn’t do it,” Ward said.
The board had cited ongoing election litigation for its decision not to conduct an audit of the voting machines to date.
Ward recounted that she received a call from Trump on Monday night and the two discussed election integrity.
“His main question was, ‘Is the Arizona legislature going to stay on top of this and not drop the ball?’ And I said, ‘Mr. President, as long as I’m the chairman, I am not going to allow them to just sweep this under the rug,’” Ward said.
“I’m not going to allow anyone to sweep this under the rug, because election integrity is my No. 1 agenda for this 2022 cycle.”
Trump has endorsed Ward in her bid for a second term.
I am humbled and honored to have the support and endorsement of President Donald Trump. As Chairwoman of the @AZGOP, Republicans will BELIEVE in our #BigTent Party, ADVANCE the #AmericaFirst agenda, STAND arm in arm with #WeThePeople, and FIGHT for #ElectionIntegrity in Arizona. pic.twitter.com/WoYAYCmHwW
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) January 19, 2021
Regarding Trump’s and former Sen. Martha McSally’s losses in November, Ward told The Western Journal, “I still think it’s unbelievable and untrue.”
The chairwoman pointed to the success Republicans candidates had down ballot from those two candidates.
In Maricopa County, which encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area, Republicans won every countywide office, save sheriff, which the incumbent Democrat held.
All four Arizona Republican members of Congress whose districts are either entirely or partially in Maricopa County won re-election. All are strong Trump backers, including House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Andy Biggs, Rep. Debbie Lesko and Rep. Paul Gosar.
“It was a red wave,” Ward said, “other than the question, still questioned in my mind and in the mind of millions of people, the results of the presidential as well as Senator McSally’s race. But if you look below those two, it was a red wave.”
Democratic President Joe Biden defeated Trump by 2.2 percentage points, or about 45,100 votes in Maricopa County of the more than 2 million cast.
In doing so, the former vice president garnered about 337,900 more votes than Democrat Hillary Clinton did in 2016, when Trump won the county by 45,500 votes, or 2.9 percentage points.
In other words, there was a 5.1 percentage point swing in favor of Biden.
The Arizona secretary of state’s official tally has Biden defeating Trump statewide by 10,457 votes.
Besides the many Republican wins in the Grand Canyon State, other accomplishments Ward touted include “record fundraising” within the state as well as a “record direction of funds that came in from other entities like the RNC and the Trump campaign.”
She also pointed to the outreach and relationships made within different minority groups such as Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans and African-Americans.
Looking toward 2022, Ward’s priorities would include holding the governorship, attorney general and treasurer in GOP hands, along with winning back the secretary of state’s office.
“We definitely have to field a very strong conservative Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate race in 2022,” Ward said. “And we have to expand our Republican majorities in the state legislature.”
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