Jeff DeWit was named the next chairman of the Arizona Republican Party on Saturday, Fox News informed.
The choice comes as Republicans in the competitive state seek to come together under new leadership and retake the majority in statewide elections.
Kelli Ward, a Trump loyalist who has embraced and echoed his election rejection claims, will be replaced with DeWit, a former Trump assistant who worked on both of his presidential campaigns.
He defeated many other candidates, notably Steve Daniels, who promised to fundamentally alter the state’s electoral process by mandating that all votes be cast in person on a single day, with ballots being manually counted, by garnering 70% of the vote.
Kari Lake, a former secretary of state candidate who came in second but rose to prominence in the party, Mark Finchem, retired general Michael Flynn, and others backed DeWit.
Trump reportedly gave DeWit a last-minute support as well, according to Lake, but unlike usual, the former president chose not to share it on social media.
Republicans lost elections for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and three U.S. Senate seats during Ward’s four years as party head. She has urged Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to look into allegations of misconduct during Katie Hobbs’ campaign against the state’s newly elected governor. She has also come under fire for party spending.
DeWit was elected state treasurer in 2014 and resigned in 2018, shortly before his tenure was up, after being confirmed by Trump to serve as NASA’s chief financial officer. He oversaw Trump’s 2016 campaign in Arizona and served as his 2020 campaign’s COO.
Yolanda Bejarano, a senior national leader in the Communications Workers of America union, was chosen by Arizona Democrats to lead their party.
The choice was the first competitive Democratic Party chair race in 12 years.
While Hobbs endorsed Steve Gallardo, the lone Democrat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Bejarano had the backing of the majority of the state’s elected Democrats.