Mar 27, 2024 - News

The AZGOP is selling the headquarters it bought 9 months ago

A six story office building.

The central Phoenix building that houses the Arizona Republican Party's headquarters. Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

After just nine months, the Arizona Republican Party's new headquarters is about to become its old headquarters.

Why it matters: The building on Central Avenue across from Park Central mall has major financial and logistical downsides that could have hindered the party in an election year, chair Gina Swoboda tells Axios.

  • The party's leadership voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to sell the office space.

The big picture: The AZGOP has been plagued by dysfunction and poor fundraising over the past few years, just as it attempts to fight back against recent Democratic political gains.

  • Swoboda, who was elected in January, said fundraising is going well and she has no concerns.

Zoom in: Currently, the party is paying about $11,300 monthly in HOA fees for the space.

  • And because people can't get to the third-floor space without a badge, it's inaccessible to volunteers and others.
  • Both factors make it difficult for the party to help campaigns and carry out get-out-the-vote activities.

Catch up quick: The party purchased the space for $1.9 million last June under the leadership of former chair Jeff DeWit, who resigned in January.

  • DeWit planned to lease out some of the 12,000 square feet to conservative groups and Republican campaigns, but some of it remains vacant.

The intrigue: GOP organizations in Arizona and other battleground states have been in shambles — and it could benefit Democrats — former George W. Bush political guru Karl Rove said Monday on an ASU panel before the news of the sale.

  • He said the "ground game" voter engagement operations that state parties run affect elections.
  • "Money can solve that problem — if we had it," Rove said.

What's next: Swoboda hopes to partner with the RNC and other national Republican operations for space this year, but the group could also rent its own temporary space.

  • Her preference is a central location, plus offices in the East and West Valley.
  • Money from the sale of the current headquarters will go into a dedicated building fund.
  • Swoboda said it'll be up to the next chair — she hasn't decided whether she'll seek another term — to decide if or where to buy a new headquarters.
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