The Arizona Republican Party voted in favor of censuring Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) on Saturday along with former Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who declined to seek re-election in 2018, and Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Senator John McCain.
Ducey, who was first elected in 2014 and now heads the Republican Governors Association, was censured over emergency rules he enacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Arizona Central. The party said the governor’s rules have restricted the “personal liberties” of Arizonans and forced “compliance to unconstitutional edicts.”
Ducey’s emergency rules allowed him to unilaterally enact COVID-19 restrictions, such as “non-essential” business closures, without lawmakers, reports The New York Times.
Sara Mueller, political director for Ducey, responded: “These resolutions are of no consequence whatsoever, and the people behind them have lost whatever little moral authority they may have once had.” As highlighted by Arizona Central, J.P. Twist, Ducey’s former campaign manager and the political director for the governor’s association, said in a tweet that the state party would have “no significant role” in the 2022 elections.
And with that, the AZGOP will have no significant role in ‘22. No other option but to work with others. We’ve been here before. No big deal. https://t.co/nhxhOanpO3
— J.P. Twist (@jp_twist) January 23, 2021
Both Flake and McCain were censured by the state party for national and international stances. For Flake, this was condemning the GOP, rejecting populism, and embracing globalism over “the interests of the American people,” reports the news agency.
McCain, on the other hand, was censured for supporting “globalist policies and candidates,” and for condemning then-President Donald Trump for criticizing her husband and “erroneously” placing “behaviors over actual presidential results.” According to The New York Times, McCain’s censure also cited her support for then-candidate Joe Biden and for “leftist causes such as gay marriage and growth of the administrative state.”
After she was censured, McCain said she would “wear this with a badge of honor.” Flake made a similar statement, saying he was “just fine being on the outs” of the state party if being on the inside meant “condoning President Trump’s behavior.”
If condoning President Trump’s behavior is required to stay in the AZGOP’s good graces, I’m just fine being on the outs. https://t.co/2rzCTu1AcZ
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) January 24, 2021
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. I’ll wear this as a badge of honor.
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) January 24, 2021
The censure vote comes as the Republican Party of Kentucky voted against calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to stand with Trump in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial. The vote was held after Nelson County GOP Chair Don Thrasher, who successfully held an emergency vote to censure McConnell at the county level, proposed the resolution.