Dr. Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party and prominent ally of former President Donald Trump, is running for reelection as the state’s GOP chair and spoke to Breitbart News about her bid for reelection, casting her political vision for the future of the battleground state and identifying election integrity as a “top priority” among others.
Ward announced her intention to run for reelection earlier this month, finalizing her decision after speaking with Trump, whom she said told her that she “needed” to run, as detailed in a January 5 announcement.
In an exclusive interview Breitbart News, Ward detailed the significant accomplishments the Arizona GOP has made over the course of her leadership, including the state party’s successes with Trump Victory and the establishment of two “legacy” projects — the election integrity fund and Latino outreach.
“Number one, we established an election integrity fund for the Republican Party of Arizona,” she said, noting that it was the first time the state party did this.
The purpose, she said, “is to really combat the misinformation that is out there and fight for election integrity in the political and legal arenas where oftentimes our candidates don’t have the amount of money it takes to be able to fight those things in court. We want to be able to play on the same field that Democrats are utilizing to cause problems in elections.”
Ward acted as a central figure in fighting for election integrity in the wake of the widely questioned 2020 presidential election, particularly over concerns of irregularities and possible malfeasance statewide and in Maricopa County, specifically. The Arizona GOP launched legal challenges to ensure election integrity in the weeks following the election as Ward continued to provide daily updates to Grand Canyon State Republicans. She was also among the Arizona Republican electors who cast an alternate slate of votes for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as electors in states across the country gathered to cast their votes last month.
Ward identified the party’s progress with Latino outreach as the second legacy project, telling Breitbart News that they established three Latinos for Trump offices in the state — in Tucson, Yuma, and a flagship in Phoenix. Ward said that they have committed financially to keep the flagship office in Phoenix open “for the next few years” and hope to open the Yuma and Tucson offices in the future as well.
“It’s going to be a way for us to continue to build on those relationships — the real relationships that we built in that community rather than setting up shop for an election and then hitting the road, and that community in south Phoenix is extremely excited about that opportunity,” Ward said.
Nonetheless, restoring confidence in the integrity of the elections remains central to Ward’s vision for the future of the Arizona GOP.
“Number one is election integrity. And that doesn’t mean ignore what happened in 2020 and move forward,” Ward said, explaining that Republicans “have to utilize what happened in 2020.”
“We have to have the full audit of what happened in Maricopa County and in Arizona as a whole so that we are able to assure the public … that there is integrity in the process,” she continued, explaining that the state GOP will continue to raise money for the election integrity fund, promote legislation that will advance integrity, transparency, accountability, and “make sure that the Republicans we elect are going to be people who are willing to fix bad laws and demand that the people — the people that they represent — are heard.”
“So it is a big priority,” she said, identifying it as a “top priority” for 2021 into the 2022 election cycle while noting that her concerns over election integrity have existed since she entered the political arena.
“Now it’s been brought to the forefront of everyone’s mind, so this is the time to really lock it down. Find out what happened in 2020, make sure that Maricopa County gets the audit that the legislature is demanding, make sure that the state legislature brings forth bills that are going to reform these outdated laws, clarify laws as they pertain to mail-in voting and absentee voting and signature verification,” she said, ultimately stressing that officials ensure that “every aspect of voting” is reviewed closely “so that our elections are free, fair and they’re accurate.”
“That is my very top priority. Of course, I have a few others as well,” she told Breitbart News.
In addition to activating grassroots efforts and supporting GOP candidates, Ward set fundraising records for her party, directing $23.5 million in the 2020 election cycle versus $6 million in 2018.
“That in itself is really stunning,” she said, noting that they managed the money in a very accountable way, putting it in places they needed it at all levels, which included maintaining a majority in the state legislature.
Ward also led the state party’s virtual convention — the first to happen anywhere in the country. Their convention came as restrictions began to kick in, forcing them to make a quick decision. But Ward described the virtual convention as “extremely successful,” noting that it was used as a model by other state parties across the country.
When asked where she sees the Republican Party in Arizona, and abroad, moving in a post-Trump era, Ward explained that Trump’s policies “have never been more popular here in Arizona” and emphasized that they must “make sure that those policies continue to move forward.”
“We have to be able to bring unity to the party,” she said, stressing that they must share the vision not only for election integrity but issues such as combating big tech, the mainstream media, and their “censorship of the Republican voice and the conservative voice.”
It is also crucial, she added, that Republicans “take back here in Arizona the offices that were lost in 2018” statewide.
Additionally, Ward said the GOP has to focus on ending the lockdowns, identifying it as another central priority.
“That has to be a priority, I think, for Republicans — making sure that we’re restoring our freedoms,” she said, referring to the crippling lockdown orders as both “unconstitutional” and “damaging.”
“We need to make sure that our citizens have the right to keep their business open, employ their workers and serve their customers. And then we have to be able to reach out into the communities and get the word out about who’s actually doing those things,” Ward said.
“And it’s a big, big challenge, but I think going forward with the right leadership — I believe I’m the right person at the right time to continue to lead this Republican Party to unity and to big victories in 2022,” she concluded.