Its surprising how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit
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!
And a fourth point for training. The LD structure in Maricopa and Pima counties is completely different then counties such Greenlee. Cochise, Graham and Eastern Pima.
Congratulations to Dr. Kelli Ward! This is the kind of change Arizona GOP has needed for many years. Joe Neglia showed great courage to get the vote done properly and in spite of the corruption. Now, we can start to reorganize a real Constitutional Republican Party.
I got to meet Joe and thank him that was another high point of having the privilege and honor to be there.
The Statutory Meeting had its stage set from the outset with contentious factions abounding. But make no mistake about it, the conservatives had a HUGE victory yesterday, and it is a new day dawning for the AzGOP. Also to mention that at least two of the three Member-at-Large seats for CD6 went to conservatives. We are now poised properly for the 2020 election cycle which is already underway. Let's roll!
I know the ones with signs against Lines were there on their own must admit the thought occurred to me that the ones in support of him were paid to hold their signs. Smack me down if you wish but that was my thought,
It was an exciting day! At days end this old damaged body was struggling even more but I had for the first time a song bird singing in my heart and in my soul much hope for change to help drain the establishment political machine in AZ. The win of Kelli also dealt a blow to McCanites.
I too all in for roll call. The more the Lines camp tried to stop the more convinced I was that it had to be done.
What I thought didn't the establishment not understand 'they had a trust issue'. Instead they dug in for electronic voting.
I am so grateful to have won the honor of being there.
We won folks the establishment swamp has been put on notice, we have a new leader. I plan to support Kelli in all ways open to me as a little pea. I will also hold the AZGOP accountable if it falters and I have good understanding as to why the fault would be deserving. Knowing Kelli as I feel I do she would want no less from me.
Wondering what the rabid left have to say about Ward's win? Laurie Roberts was the first to put out a snarky response unworthy of re-print. It just dripped with venom. This link is to a more reasonable opinion by Yvonne Wingett Sanchez. While also the usual leftist, she is a bit more moderate on Republican reports. A bit! Ward to lead GOP in Arizona
Frankly and quite honestly I now could give a fig about what the progressive socialists think wake me out of my ignoring them if and when they say something that in total that they are for this Republic, the U.S and AZ constitution and due process.
Go Kelli Ward! I have your back!