'Unmitigated disaster': Former GOP candidate for Arizona governor calls for Kelli Ward's resignation

Following the 2022 Arizona General Election, former Republican candidate for governor, Karrin Taylor Robson, has called for Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward to resign.

On Twitter, Robson stated that the AZGOP lost every major statewide race and the party is currently in the weakest position in 50 years.

In the Arizona gubernatorial primary, Robson lost to Kari Lake.

Read Robson's full statement:

"First, I want to congratulate the winning candidates in the 2022 election. The voters have spoken, they put a tremendous amount of trust in you, and I pray that you will approach your roles with grace and humility, and always put the people of Arizona first.

I also want to say this: I've seen enough.

That refrain has been made famous by election prognosticators, indicating that, having examined all the evidence and data available to them, they are ready to draw a conclusion about the outcome of a race. When it comes to the state of our Arizona Republican Party, the facts are clear. I have seen enough.

Kelli Ward's leadership of the Republican Party has been an unmitigated disaster.

When she took office via a parliamentary trick at the 2019 statutory meeting, the state party coffers were flush. The previous Chairman had left over $400,000 in the bank, more than enough to cover operations and continue the important work of party building and voter registration.

Ward had every opportunity to succeed. And yet, she failed. And failed again.

In 2016, Republicans in Arizona carried President Donald Trump to victory. Republicans held two US Senate Seats, along with every statewide office in Arizona.

On Ward's watch, the Arizona GOP has allowed our state to vote Democrat for President for the first time in a generation; has lost two United States Senate races, along with the Governor's office. More concerned with stoking division and settling old scores, Kelli Ward has led our party into a deep morass with no real plan for the future.

And while we celebrate the victories of strong conservative leaders like Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, Congressman-elect Juan Ciscomani and Representative-elect Matt Gress, there is no denying the simple fact that our party is rudderless and leaderless.

Consider: This is the first time since the post-Watergate election of 1974 that Republicans have lost the majority of statewide races in an election cycle.

Kelli Ward is passionate about her views, and claims to be a conservative. But she is not a leader. She is not a winner. The party cannot afford two more years with her as Chairman.

For the good of the party she claims to love, and for the future of the state that we all cherish, Kelli Ward must do the right thing.

Kelli Ward must resign as the Arizona Republican Party Chairman. We need a fresh start to the AZGOP, and it starts with new leadership at the top."

Controversy surrounding Ward

Ward has been surrounded by controversy as an outspoken member of the GOP for years now.

Arizona Republicans voted in January 2021 to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP members who found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump.

The censures of Sen. John McCain’s widow, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey were symbolic. But they show the party’s foot soldiers are focused on enforcing loyalty to Trump, even in the wake of an election that saw Arizona inch away from its staunchly Republican roots.

This all happened as party activists reelected Ward.

In March 2021, two candidates for the Arizona Republican Party’s executive committee who lost their previous elections sued Ward to force an audit of the 2020 election results. The lawsuit came as Ward’s own narrow reelection victory for a second term running the state party has been questioned by a losing candidate and after a large group of GOP state lawmakers sent her a letter demanding that she allow an audit.

On Oct 24 of this year, a federal appeals court panel upheld a ruling requiring Ward's phone records to be turned over to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In July 2022, the Arizona Republican Party censured state House Speaker Rusty Bowers after his public testimony to the Jan. 6 panel about Donald Trump’s relentless pressure to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

"(Bowers) is no longer a Republican in good standing & we call on Republicans to replace him at the ballot box in the August primary," Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward tweeted about the decision.

The AP contributed to this article.