Arizona Republican Party members have censured Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. John McCain, all of whom have clashed with former President Donald Trump.
The symbolic action came Saturday night after the state GOP reelected Kelli Ward, who calls herself a “Trump Republican,” for a second term as chairwoman. All three of the censured Republicans attended the inauguration of President Biden in Washington last week.
The party said it censured Mr. Ducey over his imposing of emergency COVID-19 rules that “restrict personal liberties and force compliance to unconstitutional edicts.”
The state GOP said Mrs. McCain “has supported globalist policies and candidates” and has “condemned President Trump for his criticism of her husband and erroneously placed behaviors over actual presidential results.”
The party said Mr. Flake has “condemned the Republican Party, rejected populism, and rejected the interests of the American people over globalist interests.”
Mr. Ducey came under fire from Mr. Trump in November, when he resisted Mr. Trump’s calls to overturn Mr. Biden’s narrow win in the state.
The governor’s political director, Sara Mueller, said Republicans who pushed the censure “have lost whatever little moral authority they may have once had.” She said the censure has no practical effect.
Mr. Flake, who retired in 2019 after repeatedly criticizing Mr. Trump, joined a “Republicans for Biden” group last fall. After the censure vote, he tweeted a photo of himself with Mrs. McCain and Mr. Ducey at Mr. Biden’s inauguration, with the caption “Good Company.”
Mrs. McCain also endorsed Mr. Biden for president. She said she will wear the censure “as a badge of honor.”
“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,” she tweeted.
• Dave Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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