Arizona GOP Leader Steps Down After Leaked Recording Emerges

Arizona GOP Leader Steps Down After Leaked Recording Emerges

( – After former TV anchor Kari Lake lost the Arizona gubernatorial race to now-Governor Katie Hobbs (D) in 2023, the failed candidate decided to throw her hat into the Senate race. The Arizona seat is currently held by Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I). But a newly surfaced audio tape seems to show that not everyone wanted Lake to try for the Senate seat. And after the revelation, a Republican leader in the state stepped down from his seat.

What Happened?

On January 23, the Daily Mail shared an audio tape that appeared to be the Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jeff DeWit asking Lake how much money it would take to keep her out of the Senate race. He said there were “very powerful people” who didn’t want her to run. In the conversation that reportedly took place in March of last year, DeWit said someone “back east” wanted to know if there were “any companies out there or something” that could pay her to stay out of the running. Lake responded by saying the ask was about keeping former President Donald Trump out of the White House.

Later in the conversation, DeWit apparently tried to approach the subject in a different way. He started to ask if there was “a number at which” before Lake interrupted him by finishing his sentence with, “I can be bought?” The now-former chairman asked if she could just “take a pause” for a while and come back to it in “a couple of years.” Lake responded that she had no intention of backing down, even if she was offered an obscene amount of money. She said, “This is not about money; it’s about our country.”

The Fallout

After the Daily Mail leaked the tape, DeWit resigned — a move CBS News stated shakes up the GOP in Arizona. The former Republican leader didn’t reveal who allegedly asked him to keep Lake out of the Senate race. He did, however, ask her to keep the conversation private.

The Arizona Republican Party shared a statement from DeWit giving his resignation. He said the recording was “taken out of context” and happened almost a year ago. He said it “undermines the integrity of private discussions” that are important in political leadership. DeWit said he thought he and Lake were friends, calling her recording of their conversation an “ethical breach,” a “betrayal of trust,” and a “setup.” He said she had been on a long mission to destroy him. DeWit said an “ultimatum from Lake’s team” caused him to resign.

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