Arizona GOP continues to fight for unity in the big tent extending from Phoenix to Southern Arizona. Here are some of the battles:
1) AZGOP Chairman Matt Salmon and McCain have picked Lisa James to replace Salmon as state party chairman. It is believed that McCain hopes that by installing James he will have greater control over party resources to help his campaign. McCain, who is consistently booed at state GOP conventions, and has been censured by various Republican groups including LD 11, is looking to avoid an embarrassment in his home state. Randy Pullen, a conservative, will not oppose McCain, but he won't be the fall-in-line leader McCain needs to control the state party, either. The latest in the conspiracy is detailed at Sonoran Alliance.
2) Although everyone expected an ugly fight at the Pima County GOP Statutory Meeting, it wasn't to be. Chairman Judi White ran the meeting with an iron fist restricting executive committee candidate speeches to 1 minute and no speeches from those who seconded nominations. There were no voting results reported beyond announcing the winners, no motions made, no debate, and no mention of the outrage expressed against party leaders for their part in the election losses. Expect the thermometer to burst in an upcoming central committee meeting where grievances will be aired and leaders will be asked to explain why they failed to keep the primary civil and support the party nominee.
3) Many Republicans are seething over GOP candidate Pete Hershberger's alleged alliance with Democrat Lena Seradnek during the election. This could be a battle that plays out when Pete makes his anticipated run for state Senate in two years.
4) Some Pima County GOP leaders expressed outrage when a fellow Republican threw his or her hat in the ring as a contender at the Pima County meeting. Such behavior suggests an attitude by many central committee members that once elected they are everafter entitled to move up the ladder. Instead of three or four candidates for each officer position, most candidates ran unopposed because others feared to upset the incumbent. Instead of healthy debate, there is an apparent culture of entitlement and status quo further dividing the party.