Guest Editorial: Where Does Arizona’s GOP Go From Here?

By Scottsdale Pinetop

What is the future of Arizona’s Grand Old Party? That’s what many Arizona voters are asking themselves today as we watch the aftermath of yesterday’s attacks on Capitol Hill.

According to the Arizona Republican Party – the days of leaders like former Senator John McCain, who once stood as the pillar of the Republican Party, are behind us. In a Tweet on January 1st, the AZ Republican Party stated:

“As the sun sets on 2020, remember that we’re never going back to the party of Romney, Flake, and McCain. The Republican Party is now, and forever will be, one for the working man and woman! God bless.”

This mentality didn’t just appear overnight. It has been building and building for years amongst Arizona’s Republic Party as they seek to redefine themselves in a post-Trump era.

On November 3rd, Arizona voters played a key role in the presidential election, giving 11 electoral votes to President-Elect Joe Biden – something that hasn’t occurred in generations. This came at the dissent of various officials and voters alike, not to mention President Trump himself. There is little doubt that the results of the 2020 elections have shaken some members of the Republican Party to their core as Arizona was once guaranteed as a Republican stronghold.

For months, Arizona elected officials, such as Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward and U.S. Representative Paul Gosar, have been hard at work to overturn the state’s election results citing reports of fraud and lack of integrity within their own state. Regardless of the fact that both political parties in all 15 Arizona counties certified the results as accurate after conducting all required tests. Regardless that Governor Ducey, a strong supporter of President Trump, declared the election results “fair and accurate.”

And even after the disruption and chaos that ensued on the Capitol Steps, six Senators and 121 Representatives objected to the certification of Arizona’s election results. Among those who opposed Arizona’s Electoral College votes were U.S. Representatives Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko and Andy Biggs. Just to emphasize – they voted against their own state.

Are Arizonans not to trust its own election process?

For State Chair Kelli Ward, that might be the case. After a tweet thread by Governor Ducey on Nov. 30 2020, who attempted to defend the state’s election process and results, Ward responded by saying “#sthu” (shut the help up). Election Integrity is missing in Arizona. Period.”

Is this the new face of Arizona’s Republican Party? Can it survive?…Maybe.

As any political analyst knows, the pendulum of politics always swings. Campaigns are already gearing up for 2022 and in the coming years Arizona voters may grow frustrated with the one-party control in Washington D.C. and could revert back to their traditional “red roots.” If so, this will serve potential candidates like Brnovich and Yee and Horne favorably.

The passing of Senator John McCain was a moment of national grieving in 2018. Many of the values he embodied – civility, courage, integrity, compromise – should not be lost on the Republican Party message. Especially if they hope to move forward after yesterday’s tragic display.