In the months leading up to the election, D.C. pundits predicted that Republicans would fall short and succumb to a “blue wave.” Left-wing groups poured massive amounts of out-of-state dark money into Arizona. Despite this financial barrage, we held our ground.
In conjunction with the RNC, Trump Victory, and our partners at the NRSC and NRCC, we protected all our Republican U.S. House seats in Arizona, which was critical ahead of statewide redistricting. We also defended our majorities in the Arizona State Legislature and on the Arizona Corporation Commission. In addition, we won important races in Maricopa County for Recorder, Attorney, Assessor, and more.
We accomplished this with a three-pronged approach that focused on fundraising, candidate support, and activating the grassroots.
The Republican Party of Arizona raised and directed over $23.5 million during the 2020 election – nearly four times the amount that was spent during the 2018 cycle. Today, our state party is in much better financial shape than it was even two years ago.
Our candidates and their campaign staff were trained on how to manage data, raise money, recruit volunteers, interact with media, and fill out campaign finance reports. We designed, printed, and distributed thousands of yard signs, 4X4 signs, door hangers, palm cards, and other campaign literature. Together with our county and district Republican committees, we organized the first-ever statewide “Golden Ticket” program, an effective voter outreach initiative that benefited Republican candidates at every level. And we launched a “peer-to-peer” texting program that sent hundreds of thousands of messages to Republican and Independent voters across the state.
We activated the grassroots by recruiting new Precinct Committeemen, who are the foundational building blocks of our Republican Party. Moreover, dedicated volunteers helped register thousands of eligible Arizonans to vote in the months before the election. Dozens of volunteers also staffed our phones, returning thousands of phone calls to voters who had questions in the lead-up to Election Day.
As a byproduct of our tremendous results on the ground, engagement on our social media pages also exploded. On Facebook, our following increased by over 165 percent, Twitter by 380 percent, and Instagram by an astounding 530 percent.
While the results were not what we hoped for at the top of the ticket, we can’t ignore the reports of irregularities in the election, which is why early last year we established the first ever Election Integrity Fund to counter misinformation and finance legal challenges. We were prepared early on to fight in the courts and to defend election integrity and transparency.
All our work has laid an incredible foundation for the future. Now, we must continue to push for election integrity through effective legislation and committed leaders; reclaim the statewide and federal offices that were lost in 2018, including Secretary of State and Superintendent of Public Instruction; keep control of our other statewide offices, including Governor, Attorney General, and Treasurer; put up a strong, conservative nominee to win the U.S. Senate race; and expand our majorities in the State Legislature.
With redistricting coming up, Arizona Republicans are well-positioned to pick up another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and regain our majority in Arizona’s congressional delegation. This will require attention to the redistricting process to ensure that the Independent Redistricting Commission draws maps in 2021 that comply with the Arizona Constitution and are fair to all Arizonans.
We will continue to foster and expand our relationships in the Latino community, and with our other coalition alliances with the Navajo people, African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Log Cabin Republicans, and other groups. Additionally, we will support and broaden outreach efforts on university and college campuses to support and inform our youth, who are the future of the Republican Party.
Last and not least, we must be the voice of reason for reopening Arizona for our citizens and small businesses. We have always been a state that values freedom. These endless lockdowns are on shaky Constitutional ground and are damaging to our society, economy, and nation’s spirit. We must reopen America and let people live freely again.
There is much work to be done to keep Arizona great, and the Republican Party of Arizona is poised to be the party that carries our state into the future.
Dr. Kelli Ward is a family physician, two-term Arizona state senator, and the chairwoman of the Republican Party or Arizona. On Twitter: @KelliWardAZ