Jeff DeWit, the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, announced his resignation on January 23 after a recording was leaked, allegedly showing him attempting to persuade U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake to withdraw from the race.
DeWit suggested that Lake’s team secretly recorded and leaked their conversation, leading to his resignation.
DeWit makes counter-allegations against Kari Lake’s team
In his statement, DeWit accused Lake’s team of using the recording to manipulate the situation.
“I believe she orchestrated this entire situation to have control over the state party, and it is obvious from the recording that she crafted her performance responses with the knowledge that she was recording it,” DeWit said.
Lake’s campaign responds to DeWit’s allegations
The Lake campaign stated that “the tape speaks for itself,” highlighting that Lake rejected DeWit’s alleged attempts to offer her money and corporate board seats in exchange for her not running for public office.
The campaign denied any threats or blackmail against DeWit but did not respond to queries about how the recording reached the media.
Recording exposes DeWit’s alleged offer to Lake to exit race
The Daily Mail released a recording that appears to capture a March 2023 conversation between DeWit and Lake.
In it, DeWit is heard suggesting offers to keep Lake out of the race, while Lake asserts, “This is not about money; this is about our country. I’m offended by whoever these people are that they are trying to buy me out.”
Kari Lake’s political ambitions and DeWit’s role
Lake, known for supporting former President Donald Trump, has been a vocal figure in Arizona politics.
Her reaction to the leaked recording was strong, calling for DeWit’s resignation and condemning corruption. “We can’t have somebody who’s corrupt and compromised running the Republican Party,” she stated.
DeWit, previously endorsed by Lake for the chairman position, had been in office for about a year, succeeding Kelli Ward.
Kari Lake prioritizes supporting GOP Senate for potential Trump return
Amid speculation about her possible role in the 2024 presidential election, Lake expressed her focus on aiding the Republican Party in the Senate.
She emphasized the need for a Republican-led Senate to support Trump’s future endeavors, should he return to office.
While she did not explicitly address being Trump’s running mate, she highlighted her commitment to serving the country in the Senate.