In a continuation of the establishment control of the Arizona Republican Party, Jonathan Lines follows in the footsteps of Robert Graham and his mentors John McCain and Jeff Flake. Despite the aggressive hits against Jim O’Connor, Lines won by a slim margin, 596 votes to O’Connor’s 562. Disappointingly, he also had the endorsement U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar and Trent Franks. Gosar warmly introduced Lines at the meeting., referring to him as “my friend.” It was obvious, there were behind the scenes actions requiring these gratuitous endorsements.
Although the well qualified O’Connor was defeated, members of his team were victorious. Gabby Saucedo Mercer was elected state GOP Secretary and Robert Lettieri was elected party Treasurer.
The overarching reaction among state delegates to the barely concealed shenanigans, was “disgust.” That word got a workout at the overly long meeting.
Robert Graham’s reluctance to leave the chairman’s post and revert to obscurity was palpable. He’d been eyeing the RNC chairmanship position, but his reputation for fomenting divisiveness preceded him. Reince Priebus, the longest-serving RNC chairman is now the White House Chief of Staff for President Trump. Ronna Romney McDaniel, niece of former GOP prudential candidate Mitt Romney, was selected for the post by Pres. Trump, and was officially elected Jan. 19 . She previously served as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, shepherding Donald Trump’s victory in Michigan — the first Republican presidential candidate to carry the state since 1988.
Gov. Doug Ducey who never came to Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s aid as he was being savaged by the media, was effusive with praise for the former lawman. After thanking Robert Graham for his party leadership, a notion that would be disputed by many in attendance, Ducey rhapsodized over watching our new President and First Lady’s inauguration night dance to the Frank Sinatra song, “My Way.” Then he tied it to Arpaio by saying, “But there’s another person who has danced to “My Way” long before — Sheriff Joe Arpaio!” The governor called Sheriff Arpaio “a cop’s cop,” and said, “Arizona is a better and safer state to live in because of Joe Arpaio.” It would have been nice if he stepped forward with that warm endorsement before Election Day. We now have a George Soros-funded Democrat as Maricopa County Sheriff.
Ducey, who will be running for a second term, knows those reflections are a sure winner at a Republican meeting, where the popular, now former sheriff, always garnered the most applause and enthusiastic standing ovations, regardless of who else was in attendance.
If you were not an elected state delegate, don’t berate yourself. You didn’t miss much. Your day could have been put to better use cleaning leaves out of your rain gutters.