Trump backs Arizona GOP chair in her successful reelection bid

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Kelli Ward won a second term as chairwoman of Arizona’s Republican Party on Saturday after receiving an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, his first foray into politics since his term ended.

In a recorded phone call, Mr. Trump gave his “complete and total endorsement” for another term for Dr. Ward, who has clashed with Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. She played a video of Mr. Trump at the convention. 

The president’s term ended on Wednesday, and it marked his quick reemergence into party politics. He has threatened to create a third party if establishment Republicans in the Senate vote against him in his upcoming impeachment trial.

Dr. Ward narrowly won reelection on a second ballot, by a margin of 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent, over businessman Sergio Arellano.

Both candidates appeared on stage at the convention after Dr. Ward won. Mr. Arellano said he believed he could “make a difference,” but called for party unity.

“It’s time for us to unite, come together and win,” he said.

Dr. Ward hugged him and said, “I’m with you.”

The Arizona GOP suffered high-profile losses in November, with Mr. Trump losing the state narrowly to President Biden, and Republican Sen. Martha McSally losing her reelection bid to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.

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