The Statutory Meeting of the Arizona Republican Party started off like these meetings always do.  A little business, introductions, a five minute speech by Gov. Doug Ducey, the titular head of the AZ Republican Party.  This gave no hint of what was to come.  And come it did.

When it came time to vote for new Chairman and Secretary (Treasurer had no opposition), the credentials was finally announced.  This is usually announced early in the morning but for some reason, that was delayed this time.  We could speculate as to why that was, but we won't.  Credentials showed 1236 State Commmitteemen there in person or by the dreaded proxy.   There was a tension in the room, an air of suspicion.  Everyone remembers the past two elections that were mismanaged, some even said were cheated by Robert Graham and Jonathan Lines.  It was widely suspected it would happen again.

Campaign speeches were given, candidates were upbeat and enthusiastic.  Chairman candidates Kelli Ward and Doyel Shamley gave very positive uplifting speeches.  Lines spent all of 60 seconds at the mic, feeling pretty

perky.  After all, he controlled the electronic voting system!

Photo courtesy of Arizona Daily Independent

Speeches done, time to vote.  The electronic voting system was revved up and ready to go.  But wait.  State Committeeman, Joe Neglia, [had earlier] approached the floor mic and called a point of order.  Reading from the bylaws and brandishing a copy of Robert's Rules of Order, he stated he was calling for a roll call vote.  He was in no mood to wait until after the vote was taken electronically.  Two years ago, the electronic voting was highly suspected to have been invalid and the losing candidate, Jim O'Connor, refused to call for a roll call vote with only a 34 vote margin for Lines. That was still hanging heavy in the hearts and minds of the faithful conservatives.

The fun begins!  There was no way for Lines to wiggle out of a roll call vote.  Neglia had the upper hand and everyone knew it.  This is when the wrangling began.  Like Republicans do, everyone had a different opinion.  Some inaccurately said a roll call vote would destroy the concept of the secret ballot.  It wouldn't.  It was as simple as each voter writing the name of their candidate on a piece of paper and dropping it into an envelop or box to be tabulated with all Chairman candidates observing the count.  As simple as that might seem, the wrangling went on for nearly an hour.  Finally, the vote began as a roll call within each district/county with plenty of people for all sides watching like the earth depended on it.  The Republican Party did depend on it!  Voting took up another nearly an hour.

In the end, with no electronic voting system already stacked in favor of the incumbent, McCain candidate Jonathan Lines, the tally was announced.  Ward won 633-526.  The last 65 votes went to the late entrant, Doyel Shamley.  There was no expectation that a candidate would win 50% + 1 on the first round.  This is a testimony to how hard Kelli Ward worked to win this election.

For faithful Republicans in Arizona, this is a watershed moment.  McCain had a firm grip on the AZGOP for too many years to count.  He momentarily lost that grip from 2011-2013 when grassroots candidate, Tom Morrissey, won against all odds.  Today, Kelli Ward replicated that feat.  According to Arizona Daily Independent, it was reported that Ward said she was "deeply humbled and honored to have the support of so many" and graciously thanked Lines for his service.  Others were joyously celebrating the end of the McCain Reign, dancing their happy dance.

Now, the real work can begin to salvage Arizona for 2020.  Many thanks to Joe Neglia for his courage to stand up to the establishment regime and hold his ground.  And, Go, Ward!

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Replies to This Discussion

Yes, understood and thanks for the correction, Pat J.

I don't care a rats patootie what came first. The important part of this article is two fold: Joe Neglia the hero of the day; Lines is gone in a huff I heard.  How that all happened doesn't matter to me.  McCain is finally in his grave regarding AZGOP

Back to harping. The order of business was vastly important because state committeemen understood beforehand how they were to voice their vote...it would not be by electronic means. That was huge! 

It was huge indeed. We did understand to call for roll call voting in advance. Yet they tried to sway us back to electronic voting. That informed me that roll call was a must. The majority spoke.

So hows about stopping the harping?  I saw the correction that was made to your first comment and if I can count to 3 this is the 3rd post you made about this.   We get it.  We get it.

I absolutely agree. If RNC won't give us necessary money, we can go to conservative radio and/or the president.

Marilyn good options. AZ is way too important for 2020 for the RNC to deny azgop money.

Just in:  It has been reported that, although most district chairs properly counted the votes of their PCs and did their best to maintain privacy for the voter, some district chairmen took names of their SCs and attached their vote to it.  This violates the right to a secret ballot and a gross disrespect for the process AND the voter.  Why does it matter?  This, like most elections in the past few years, was a contentous election.  Lines would do anything to anyone to keep the seat and the conservatives were rabidly anxious to get rid of the McCain influence once and for all.  It sets up a possibility of targeting those who did not vote "right."  Unfortunately, the moderator allowed each district to decide how to manage the roll call in their district.  Bad move.

It sets up a dynamic for the rest of us to stop the chatter and finger pointing.  While we dislike the word "unity" we do like the concept.  Take the time to be pleasant to that person who voted different than you.  We will all benefit from that.

Not surprised that some district chairs continued to try to cheat the vote for Lines.  He had 'em lined (pun intended) up with extra electronic codes I reckon.  Too bad, so sad.  I was for anyone but Lines. Got my wish.

Kool, finally some order of things.

Very nice summary of the day, AFA.  There are many details that would have just bogged down the report.  We are all elated at the outcome no matter who we voted for because we did not vote for Lines.  Goodbye, Lines. Go ahead and let that door hit ya on the way out.

Joe Neglia and Jim Dutton are committed Conservatives who know the bylaws and ROR.

Thank you for everything that you have done to break the McCain wall . 

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