‘You have to fire the coach’: After losses, Republicans push for ouster of state GOP chair Kelli Ward

Ward (standing left) herself was part of a group of Republicans who created a slate of alternate electors in 2020, and is under investigation by the Congressional committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.|| Arizona Republican Party

By Stacey Barchenger || Arizona Republic

Arizona Republicans’ bruising losses at the top of the ballot this year have prompted calls for state GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward to resign immediately and turn the party’s focus away from the rightmost flank of conservative politics.

At least one of those changes appears imminent: Ward is not running for chair of the party again, state GOP spokeswoman Kristy Dohnel said in a text Tuesday.

The other is more complicated, as former President Donald Trump announced his intentions to return to the White House in 2024 and one of his key allies, the organization Turning Point USA, has become a powerhouse force in Arizona Republican politics.

Hostile takeover:Turning Point USA and the remaking of Arizona’s Republican Party

It all adds up to uncertainty about the future of the Republican Party of Arizona in a state that recently was reliably red but is now a purple battleground, with former leaders already pushing for a change in ideology at the top.

On Tuesday, tensions from the latest round of election losses — including the election of a Democratic governor — came to a head. Phoenix real estate developer Karrin Taylor Robson, a more traditional Republican who ran for governor earlier this year and is a steadfast GOP donor, called on Ward to resign.

“More concerned with stoking division and settling old scores, Kelli Ward has led our party into a deep morass with no real plan for the future,” Taylor Robson said in a statement. Ward’s leadership of the party “has been an unmitigated disaster,” she said.

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