Updated Jan 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of  Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Driving the news: McCain, widow of Trump nemesis Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), endorsed Biden for president last September.

  • Flake is a longtime Trump critic who joined the "Republicans for Biden" group last August.
  • Ducey endured tirades from Trump after he didn't overturn Biden's win in the state, per Axios' Jonathan Swan.
  • AZCentral notes the governor was censured over emergency measures in response to the pandemic, which the state GOP said "restrict personal liberties and force compliance to unconstitutional edicts."

Of note: All three of those censured attended Biden's inauguration last Wednesday.

What they're saying: Ward, who's filed unsuccessful lawsuits attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, described herself as a "Trump Republican" who'll "always put America first, who believes in faith, family and freedom," AP reports.

  • Ducey's political director Sara Mueller said in a statement the people behind the inconsequential resolutions "have lost whatever little moral authority they may have once had."
  • McCain tweeted after the vote, "It is a high honor to be included in a group of Arizonans who have served our state and our nation so well...and who, like my late husband John, have been censured by the AZGOP. I'll wear this as a badge of honor."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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