Arizona Republicans challenge AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward’s win, warn of legal battle: ‘The time for talk is over’

Photo: Bob Christie

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez |Arizona Republic

Arizona GOP activists are challenging the results of last month’s state Republican Party election, where party chair Kelli Ward narrowly beat back opposition to win a runoff election to preside over the party for another two years. Ward has already rebuffed calls for an audit of the election.

Arizona GOP activists are challenging the results of last month’s state Republican Party election, where party chair Kelli Ward narrowly beat back opposition to win a runoff election to preside over the party for another two years.

Sandra Dowling and Bill Beard, two candidates who lost their bids for other state party offices in the Jan. 23 election, are doubling down in their demands that state party officials make available to independent auditors a slew of information pertaining to the election — from ballots to documentation of all election equipment, hardware and software. 

The candidates made the request Wednesday through attorney Timothy La Sota, who once served as legal counsel for the Arizona Republican Party. 

The Arizona Republic obtained a copy of the letter that was sent to the state party’s attorney. The four-page letter warns of consequences if the request is ignored or denied.

“If the state party does not agree to a full, transparent and auditable recount of all offices elected on January 23, 2021 as described above, one thing will happen and another is likely to happen,” La Sota’s letter said. “I will proceed to Court to vindicate Mr. Beard and Dr. Dowling’s rights, and I understand that various other parties are planning to seek Ms. Ward’s removal as state party chair via a call for a special meeting from the requisite number of state party committeemen.”

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