Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, former Senator Jeff Flake, and Cindy McCain at the U.S. Capitol during Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. Courtesy: Jeff Flake twitter
By Kyung Lah | CNN
The Arizona Republican Party sent a clear signal Saturday that its leadership remains loyal to former President Donald Trump when it voted to publicly punish Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, all of whom opposed Trump’s efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory, or in the case of Flake and McCain, endorsed the Democrat before the election.
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.— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) January 24, 2021
The decision to censure those three Republicans — in addition to re-electing controversial chairwoman Kelli Ward — solidified the rightward shift of the official party, while also reflecting the deep fractures among Arizona Republicans over the future of the GOP, which suffered bruising defeats at the ballot box in 2020 in this increasingly purple state.
Biden flipped Arizona last fall — the first time a Democrat has carried the state in a presidential election since Bill Clinton won the state in 1996 — and Democrat Mark Kelly defeated Martha McSally in the US Senate race, just two years after McSally lost the state’s other Senate seat to a Democrat.
“If condoning President Trump’s behavior is required to stay in the AZGOP’s good graces, I’m just fine being on the outs.”Former Senator Jeff Flake