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Arizona GOP censures Ducey, Flake and McCain as tensions rise

PHOENIX (CNN) - The Arizona GOP is issuing some reprimands.

It sent a clear signal over the weekend that its leadership remains loyal to former President Trump when it voted to publicly punish Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, former Senator Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, all of whom opposed trump's efforts to overturn president Joe Biden's victory.

Flake and McCain even endorsed Biden before the election.

Donald Trump may have lost the 2020 election, but he has not lost the Arizona Republican party.

"However Trump rolls, is how the Republican Party's gonna roll," Barbara Wyllie, member of the Arizona Republican Party said.

The first gathering of the Arizona Republican Party was held this weekend since Trump's defeat.

In just four years of Trump's MAGA messaging, voters in this once reliably Republican state voted to elect two Democratic senators and a democratic president.

But here, members punished their own for not being trump-enough.

The Arizona GOP censured Republican Governor Doug Ducey, Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Senator John McCain, and former Senator Jeff Flake.

Ducey's perceived Republican offense was enforcing emergency health orders as COVID-19 cases spiked, and Flake and McCain for not backing Trump.

When asked if she voted for McCain, Wyllie said I voted for john mccain."

But that was then, say these lifelong Arizona Republicans. This is today.

When asked if she is concerned about the censure of Cindy McCain?", Wyllie said, "No. I'm sorry I voted for John McCain."

"We're here to increase the Republican Party by making it a MAGA party," Corky Haynes, Arizona GOP member said.

Cj diegel/former registered republican: "I finally had to had to say, no, I don't want to be associated with the Arizona Republican Party," CJ Diefel said.

The registered republican, married father of two, hoped that after this his party would move away from Donald Trump.

They didn't.

"When you go down that path and that's how you gain your notoriety, when you abandon decency, it's hard to go back on it," he said.

Diegel changed his party registration, among the more than 9,000 Republicans who the Secretary of State says changed their affiliation since the insurrection at the capitol.

"We've got a bankrupt party here in the state, and it needs to be rebuilt," Diegel said.

And re-made, away from the images of Arizonans arrested at the capitol to winning statewide elections says Arizona State Senator TJ Shope.

"I mean obviously, I wear a different hat than the guy in the horns, but you know, it's, it's, it is definitely time for a reset," Shope said.

When asked "is what the Arizona GOP doing turning the page?", Shope replied, "Absolutely not. Absolutely not. It's. I have no idea what they're doing."

But the state party seems intent to stay on the path forged by Trump, led by far-right chairwoman Kelli Ward who played an audio message from Trump at the state party meeting and was re-elected.

"I give my total and complete endorsement to Kelli Ward. Thank you very much," Trump said.

Arizona isn't the only state where Republicans continue to hang on Trump's coattails.

Many GOP members of Congress still refuse to criticize his messaging ahead of the capitol riot.

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