Arizona Republicans elect former Trump official Jeff DeWit to become next party chair, will replace Kelli Ward
Republicans in Arizona appointed Jeff DeWit as the party’s next chairman Saturday. The selection comes as Republicans in the battleground state hope to unite under new leadership and win back statewide elections.
DeWit, a former Trump aide who worked on both of his presidential campaigns, will replace Kelli Ward, a Trump ally who has embraced and echoed his election denial claims.
He won 70% of the votes over several other nominees, including Steve Daniels, who vowed to drastically change the state’s election system by requiring all votes to take place in person on one day, with ballots counted by hand.
“I’m going to work for you, and we’re going to unify,” DeWit said after his victory. “And we’re going to get back to beating Democrats and winning elections.”
DeWit was supported by Kari Lake, who lost the race for governor but became an influential voice in the party; Mark Finchem, a former candidate for secretary of state; retired Gen. Michael Flynn and others.
Lake said DeWit also received a last-minute endorsement from Trump, but the former president did not post the endorsement on social media, which he regularly does.
During Ward’s four-year tenure as party chair, Republicans lost three U.S. Senate races and elections for governor, secretary of state and attorney general. She has called for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate newly elected Gov. Katie Hobbs for potential wrongdoing during her campaign. She has also faced criticism over the party’s spending.
DeWit was elected state treasurer in 2014 and resigned in 2018, just before his term ended as he was confirmed as chief financial officer of NASA under Trump. He led Trump’s Arizona campaign in 2016 and was chief operating officer of Trump’s 2020 campaign.
Arizona Democrats elected Yolanda Bejarano, a senior national official in the Communications Workers of America union, to be their party chair.
The selection was the first contested election for the Democratic chair in 12 years.
Bejarano was backed by most of the state’s elected Democrats, but Hobbs supported Steve Gallardo, the only Democrat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
Outgoing Democratic Chair Raquel Teran declined to run for another term. She is also looking to run for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Ruben Gallego, who’s running for the Senate. The seat is safely Democratic.
The 2024 election includes several races with national implications including the presidential race and independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Roman Reigns defends WWE titles at Royal Rumble; Sami Zayn turns on champ and delivers big crowd reaction
Roman Reigns’ dominance over the WWE continued Saturday night as he defended the WWE Championship and Universal Championship against Kevin Owens at the Royal Rumble but he may have lost members of The Bloodline after his antics when the match ended.
With Sami Zayn and Paul Heyman by his side, Reigns went toe-to-toe with Owens. He hit multiple Superman Punches and speared Owens several times, including through a barricade during the match. Reigns would pin Owens and get the three count to keep his titles but the beatdown continued.
Jimmy and Jey Uso and Solo Sikoa came out to celebrate Reigns’ championship defense. The faction continued to deliver punishment to Owens. The Usos put a chair around his neck and Sikoa would throw his body full force into him. To make matters worse, Heyman brought out the handcuffs and they tied up Owens to the ring ropes
The Usos hit Owens with multiple superkicks and then Reigns was going to hit Owens with a chair. Zayn begged Reigns not to do it.
“This is beneath you,” Zayn said trying to protect his longtime friend. “You don’t need to do this. You’re better than that.”
Reigns gave Zayn the opportunity to earn his place in The Bloodline. However, the “Honorary Uce” turned on his “Tribal Chief” and hit him in the back with the chair. The crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, nearly blew the roof off of the place in one of the loudest pops of the night.
The rest of The Bloodline members would attack Zayn. But Jey Uso would be conflicted and run to the back and out of the ring, adding another conflict to the faction that has been on top of the WWE for over two years.
“F—you Roman!” the crowd chanted.
But the beatdown continued until the rest of The Bloodline grew tired. The faction would walk out of the ring and down the aisle but had another issue at hand.
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