Arizona Republican Party cancels 2020 presidential primary

Sept. 9 (UPI) — Arizona’s Republican Party will not hold a primary for the 2020 presidential election, state GOP leaders announced on Monday.

State Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward sent a letter to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs declaring the party’s intention to forgo the primary.

Arizona joins Kansas and South Carolina in canceling their presidential primaries and Nevada is expected to do the same.

“By opting out of the presidential preference election, our united Republican Party of Arizona will save taxpayers millions as we look ahead to the general election on Nov. 3,” Ward said in a statement to Arizona news network KPNX.

President Donald Trump won Arizona in the 2016 presidential election, earning 48.1 percent of the vote, besting his opponent Hillary Clinton who earned 44.6 percent.

Ward said that Arizonians are “excited and energized to send President Trump back to the White House for four more years.”

Arizona has chosen not to hold closed primary elections for the past two decades when an incumbent president is running for a second term.

Republican candidates seeking to challenge Trump, former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, have both criticized states that have decided to cancel their primaries.

Former Republican South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford also announced plans to challenge Trump on Sunday.

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