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Wards ousts Lines in race for Arizona GOP chairmanship

Kelli Ward
Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-26 20:14:18-05

PHOENIX — Arizona Republican activists on Saturday replaced incumbent state party Chairman Jonathan Lines with twice-unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate Kelli Ward in the party's top leadership post, providing a win for the party's more conservative wing and a defeat for its old guard.

Ward in her victory speech called her election an opportunity to unify the party and make the state "the Republican powerhouse that we can be."

Lines earlier posted a concession note on Facebook, saying it had been his "greatest pleasure to serve" as chairman for two years and wishing luck to Ward.

The state party has been fractured for years between moderates who embrace business-friendly strategies and prefer to avoid hot-button social issues and a more conservative wing that has embraced the tea party and President Donald Trump's initiatives.