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

Thank you, Joe Neglia!

I'm staying....Kelli Ward, yeah!

This is awesome.  All vestiges of John McCain will eventually be swept away.  Arizona is going to remain Republican ........ and not RINO.  As Arizona goes, so goes the nation.  The DemocRat Party is dying.

Go Kelli, go!

DemocRat? - what you meant to say is Communist?

Congratulations to Kelli Ward. Now is the time for all Republicans, all factions, all persuasions to see this as a chance to unify and focus on our real opponents--the Democrats. To that end, I hope all of us will stop hurling expletives and casting aspersions (yes, RINO is definitely an aspersion) at each other and join forces. If we don't, 2020 will likely be a repeat of 2018, and 2022 will be a bloodbath for Republicans. United we . . . ; divided we . . . ! Let's take advantage of this opportunity and get it right.

Conservatives being racists is an aspersion

Yes it is! And there are many others as well. None should be used by a Republican aimed at a Republican.

We observed that Joe Neglia called for a roll call vote with state committeemen standing in support prior to the candidate speeches. Otherwise, great recap! The most amazing part is we were able to return to paper ballots again, our very own hand signed ballots that were voted and handed to the various chairmen. Thank you. Thank God.

Yes, you are right, Angie.  The speeches did come after.

The roll call vote acceptance came before the candidate speeches. Oh, well. Great outcome!

Hey, Angie.  Are you reading other posts?  AFA made that correction so why are you belaboring the point?  Do you want them to re-write the whole article? 

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