By Aaron Zitner, Eliza Collins | Wall Street Journal
Rifts in the GOP between those who support Donald Trump‘s false 2020 election fraud claims and those who want the party to move on from the former president have resurfaced in party leadership races in key states, with each side blaming the other for disappointing midterm results.
In Arizona, the state Republican party—which for years has been at odds with former GOP Gov. Doug Ducey and more establishment Republicans—on Saturday elected Jeff DeWit as party chairman.
A former state treasurer, Mr. DeWit worked on both of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaigns and served in the Trump administration. Mr. Trump backed his bid, according to several people with knowledge. Kari Lake, the Trump-aligned failed GOP candidate for governor in 2022 also supported him. He is set to appear at a rally with Ms. Lake on Sunday.
Mr. DeWit had support of many of the party’s activists, but he also made an effort to win over some more traditional Republicans. He has said he would focus on voter registration and fundraising, according to Jonathan Lines, a former state party chairman.
Some Arizona Republicans say they don’t see room for themselves in a party apparatus dominated by supporters of Mr. Trump and his election-fraud claims. And they point to widespread defeat for Republican statewide candidates in a state that the GOP long dominated.
“There’s a new conductor but the orchestra is still out of tune,” said Thomas Galvin, a Republican member of the GOP-led Maricopa Board of Supervisors, which runs elections in the state’s largest county.
The board has been criticized by other Republicans for its handling of the past two election cycles when Democrats won. “There’s nothing to suggest that the new party chair will have the guts to state the harsh truth in order for the party to get back to its winning ways.”