In a significant turn of events, the Arizona Republican Party has appointed a new chair, Gina Swoboda, with former President Donald Trump’s backing. This change follows the resignation of the previous chair, Jeff DeWit, amidst a bribery scandal.
The party expressed its renewed focus in a recent social media post: “We proudly present our new Chairwoman @GinaSwoboda, alongside the dynamic new AZGOP Board! … We are ready for victory!”
Swoboda elected Arizona GOP Chair following DeWit’s resignation
Swoboda’s election occurred at the annual GOP meeting at Dream City Church in north Phoenix, attended by over 1,000 people.
Originally, the meeting was only set to elect lower-level positions. However, DeWit’s abrupt resignation amid bribery allegations necessitated an immediate election for a new chair. DeWit had been one year into his two-year term.
Swoboda, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor, and Mesa resident Verl Farnsworth were nominated for the chair position. Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Ariz.) announced that Swoboda won with 67% of the votes.
Swoboda hails Trump’s backing in Arizona GOP Chair win
In her post-victory statement, Swoboda acknowledged Trump’s support: “Arizona is the key to the presidency. I was proud to have the support of President Trump in this victory to lead the AZGOP into the most important election of our lifetime.”
“Now it’s time to turn out every last vote for the 47th President, DONALD J TRUMP!” Trump, too, had previously expressed his support: “She is an outstanding person with incredible passion for our Party.”
Reactions and Endorsements
Kari Lake, a U.S. Senate candidate embroiled in the bribery controversy, lauded Swoboda’s victory: “Gina is a National Leader in election law.”
“She is a grassroots hero and is loved by Republicans of ALL stripes. Gina is battle-tested and a woman of great integrity…”
Lake, in her social media post, also mentioned her and Trump’s endorsement of Swoboda, underlining the importance of the upcoming elections.
Recording unveils controversy behind DeWit’s resignation
The controversy surrounding DeWit’s resignation was sparked by a recording published by The Daily Mail.
In it, DeWit discusses with Lake how “very powerful people” wanted to keep her out of the Senate race.
“They’re willing to put their money where their mouth is in a big way. So this conversation never happened,” DeWit is heard saying.
Lake responds skeptically, highlighting the corrupt nature of the proposition and its implications for Trump’s political future.
DeWit resigns amid bribery scandal, claims set up by Lake’s team
DeWit, acknowledging the gravity of the situation, expressed fear of repercussions if the bribe offer was exposed.
After the recording surfaced, DeWit resigned, accusing Lake’s team of orchestrating the leak. “I said things I regret, but I realize when hearing Lake’s recording that I was set up,” he stated.
The scandal’s revelation and DeWit’s departure cast a shadow over the party’s leadership election.
Mixed reactions in Arizona GOP to bribery scandal
The party’s response to the incident has been mixed. Arizona Speaker of the House Ben Toma expressed his hope for unity: “I hope we can find a way to get united as a party very soon because I think that matters a lot…”
J.D. Watson, a state committee member, voiced his concern about the exposed corruption but commended Lake for resisting the bribe: “We’re talking six figures, possibly, and she could not be bought.”
Swoboda leads Arizona GOP through challenges toward 2024 election goals
With Swoboda at the helm, the Arizona Republican Party navigates a critical phase.
The focus remains on winning key political battles and restoring faith in the party’s leadership amidst ongoing controversies.
As the 2024 elections approach, the party’s actions and strategies under Swoboda’s leadership will be pivotal in determining its course and success.
Victoria Mangelli graduated Summa Cum Laude with her BA in journalism from Siena College. She has worked for the Megyn Kelly Show, The Borgen Project, Saratoga Living, as well as several other publications. She enjoys traveling in her free time while freelancing for national publications.