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Arizona Republican Party
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Resignation of Arizona Republican Party Chair Follows Leak Exposing Alleged Bribery Attempt

Recording suggests that Jeff DeWit, associated with the Arizona Republican Party, may be proposing financial incentives to dissuade GOP candidate Kari Lake from entering the US Senate race.

The head of the Arizona Republican Party tendered his resignation on Wednesday following the emergence of leaked audio. The recording suggests that he was involved in what appeared to be an attempt to influence Republican candidate Kari Lake by proposing a financial incentive for her withdrawal from the US Senate race in the state.

Jeff DeWit, the party’s chair, was captured in a secretly recorded conversation with Lake, insinuating that influential figures were eager to prevent her from entering the Senate race and were willing to provide substantial financial support to discourage her candidacy.

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DeWit explained his decision to step down, stating that Lake’s team had allegedly threatened to release additional secret recordings unless he resigned promptly. He expressed the hope that Lake would honor her commitment to cease attacks, a claim disputed by Lake’s team, who denied making any threats or engaging in blackmail against DeWit.

Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake during a television interview in Laconia, New Hampshire, on 22 January 2024. Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP

The leaked audio, obtained by the, features Lake rejecting the notion that she can be bought and dismissing any attempts at bribery. Despite DeWit’s repeated requests for confidentiality, Lake objects, emphasizing her qualities as a candidate and denouncing corruption among the involved parties.

This audio revelation underscores the internal divisions within Arizona Republicans regarding the party’s trajectory in a crucial election year, particularly as Arizona remains a closely contested swing state. The state party has shifted towards a more conservative stance aligned with Trumpism, diverging from the state’s overall move towards the political center. Many Arizona Republicans continue to assert unfounded claims of election fraud from 2020, a narrative also echoed by Lake during her campaign.

In response to the controversy, DeWit released a statement on Wednesday, labeling the audio as “selectively edited” and a “deceptive tactic.” He asserted that, at the time of the conversation ten months ago, Lake was employed by his private company, raising legal questions about the nature of their interaction. Lake, a former television anchor, often uses a microphone to record content for online promotion.

While Lake and her supporters depict DeWit’s comments as an attempted bribe, DeWit characterizes the conversation as offering a supportive perspective to someone he considered a friend. The party’s far-right faction had sought DeWit’s removal before the audio leak, coincidentally preceding Trump’s scheduled return to Arizona for an upcoming visit and the state party’s annual meeting.



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