‘Negligent in every way’: AZGOP spent $530K on a bus tour and party

Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward takes the stage at the AZGOP’s Election Night Watch Party at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch on Nov. 8, 2022. The party spent about $330,000 on the event at the ritzy hotel, plus another $200,000 on a three-day bus tour in the final days of the campaign, expenses that some Republicans say came at the cost of losing close races. ||Screenshot via Republican Party of Arizona/Facebook

Instead of spending to drive independent voters, the party poured money into ‘vanity projects’

By Jim Small || Arizona Mirror

Hundreds of red, white and blue balloons were suspended over the massive ballroom inside the swanky Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. 

But rather than fall onto a joyous crowd of Republicans cheering on their candidates in the midst of a “red tsunami” sweeping GOP candidates to victory across Arizona, the night ended with the balloons nestled against the ceiling.

Those balloons cost $3,348, a mere drop in the bucket of the more than $325,000 that the Arizona Republican Party spent on its extravagant election night party, according to the Arizona Mirror’s analysis of campaign finance records. 

Combined with another $205,000 or so spent on a three-day bus tour during the critical final weekend of the campaign, Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward and her team spent more than $530,000 on what one GOP consultant said were “vanity projects” designed to boost her ego instead of winning races.


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January 2023