Nutt, other legislators call for Ward to OK GOP election audit

State Rep. Becky Nutt, left, shown here during a Martha McSally campaign stop in Safford in November, has joined 16 other legislative colleagues in calling for an audit of the re-election of Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward, right. - David Bell Photos/Gila Valley Central

PHOENIX — Seventeen members of the Arizona Legislature — including one who represents Graham and Greenlee counties — are calling for an audit of an election that set the leadership of the state’s Republican Party.

Rep. Becky Nutt, R-Clifton, joined 13 other state representatives and three state senators in signing on to Rep. Kevin Payne’s letter calling for Kelli Ward to either audit the party’s leadership election or stand down while an audit is completed.

In January, Ward was re-elected as chair of the Arizona Republic Party. The election was close, and a reversal in another statewide party election prompted the second-place finisher, Sergio Arellano, to call for an audit of the results.

Ward has resisted requests of an audit, saying the party has no mechanism to carry out the request.

Ward, a former state Senator who unsuccessfully ran twice for the U.S. Senate, has been an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump and, in a tweet posted Thursday, said, “We aren’t going anywhere. We are standing strong to fight for faith, family, & freedom — for America. #MAGA.”