Gina Swoboda Wins Election to Arizona Republican Party Chair in Decisive Victory

Gina Swoboda

The Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) voted on Saturday to elect Gina Swoboda to be its next chair following the abrupt resignation of Jeff DeWit. Out of 1,600 votes cast, sources told The Arizona Sun Times that Swoboda won over 1,000 votes and her nearest opponent, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor, won slightly more than 400.

Swoboda, formerly the party’s 3rd vice chair, won the election at the annual AZGOP Mandatory Meeting of the State Committee at the Dream City Church in Phoenix on Saturday and will lead the party ahead of the November elections.

With the event closed to the media, Swoboda’s victory was confirmed on social media after Swoboda won on the first ballot by a margin a decisive victory.

Swoboda’s victory came after a tumultuous nominating and voting process that began at 8 a.m. The first round of voting concluded at around 4 p.m., and State Senator Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) indicated that the hand count of approximately 1,600 votes was completed within the hour. Other races required a second vote, reportedly prompting a delay in announcing results.

Voting was reportedly delayed over concerns regarding the electronic tabulation of ballots. While it was eventually determined that machines would be used to tabulate the results, and the final results would be confirmed by a hand count, the tabulation machines were apparently unable to be “recoded,” necessitating a full hand count.

At least 33 percent of the AZGOP State Committee, consisting of more than 2,000 precinct committeemen from throughout Arizona, were required to be present for it to be present. Voting members could also establish proxies, according to rules for the meeting set by the party and relayed in one of the last official communications made by DeWit prior to his resignation. Only members of the State Committee, or their proxies, were allowed to nominate or vote.

Before her victory, Swoboda was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake, U.S. Representatives Eli Crane (R-AZ-02) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05), and by at least an additional 23 Arizona lawmakers and political leaders.

Those who endorsed Swoboda before her victory were former AZGOP Chair Dr. Kelli Ward and former Republican Party chair candidate Harmeet Dhillon.

Shortly before voting began, Charlie Kirk also endorsed Swoboda on behalf of Turning Point Action.

“On behalf of Turning Point Action, I’m proud to endorse [Gina Swoboda] for Republican State Party Chair of Arizona,” wrote Kirk in a post to X. Describing her as a “brilliant legal mind” and “strong conservative,” Kirk wrote that Swoboda is “the best person for this critical job.”

As the meeting began, Lake reaffirmed her endorsement in a post to X, the website formerly known as Twitter.

“I encourage everyone at today’s AZGOP meeting to vote for [Gina Swoboda] for chair.” Lake wrote, “I can think of no better patriot to move this party forward!”

Lake was also present for Swoboda’s victory and was able to vote as a proxy. She delivered a speech in support of Swoboda prior to voting.

The Senate candidate was also photographed as she prepared to cast a vote for Swoboda.

Prior to the vote, Turning Point Action field representative Aubrey Savela wrote to X that the meeting was well attended.

“Packed house this morning,” wrote Savela, adding that the vote for new leadership “will sail the ship into victory this election cycle.”

Swoboda now works as the executive director of Phoenix-based Voter Reference Foundation (VRF).

In September 2023, Swoboda provided hours of analysis into the 2022 statewide elections in Arizona, and specifically analyzed what happened in Maricopa County, where many Republicans alleged election mismanagement led to losses for Kari Lake and other pro-Trump candidates.

Swoboda, in one appearance, urged Arizona voters to embrace early voting in future elections, explaining, “if the Democrats have already banked their votes and the Republican Party all waits until Election Day and we have another catastrophic failure, our votes just aren’t coming and we can’t make up the margin.” She went on, “If we get out there and we get out there early, then there’s not gonna be a potential shenanigan where someone else gets my mail ballot and does something else.”

Before Swoboda’s victory, Washington Post reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, who the newspaper employs as a full-time reporter covering “Democracy” in Arizona, claimed “the outcome will be described by one faction or another as rigged or stolen.”

The last-minute election of a new AZGOP chair happened after DeWit resigned following the release of audio in which he appeared to offer Lake a well-paying job in the private sector in exchange for staying out of politics.

Lake later confirmed she recorded the audio, and explained that her family’s declaration that it constituted “bribery” was a key motivation behind its release.

In his resignation letter, DeWit claimed the audio represented a friendly conversation between colleagues, and later expressed severe doubts to local media that Lake could win a statewide election.

Lake, having also noted that the latest polling shows her beating both U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), and her likely Democratic opponent, Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03), called DeWit a “delusional person.”

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Tom Pappert is the lead reporter for The Tennessee Star, and also reports for The Georgia Star News, The Virginia Star, and the Arizona Sun Times. Follow Tom on X/Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Gina Swoboda” by Kerri Toloczko. Background Photo “Arizona GOP Meeting” by aubrey savela.






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