PHOENIX — After months of infighting, the Arizona Republican Party wants to declare a truce and form the united front it will need to win statewide races this November.
That, however, may be easier said than done.
On the day after the primary election, State Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward told Steve Bannon on his War Room show "yesterday was the culmination and an exorcism of John McCain from our state and our country."
Kari Lake, who was declared the winner in the Republican governor's primary Thursday, told Real America's Voice "Rusty Bowers is gone from Arizona politics thank God."
Bowers testified before the Capitol riots January 6th committee and refused to go along with efforts to decertify Arizona's vote for Joe Biden in 2020.
A few hours after those appearances, Lake told reporters "We truly want to bring the Republican Party together."
Ward would later tweet, "It's time for all Republicans to UNITE."
Doug Cole of Highground Public Affairs isn't so sure Ward, Lake, or anyone else for that matter, can truly bury the hatchet and make things right with Arizona Republicans.
"The Arizona Republican Party took the unprecedented action of endorsing Republican candidates in the primary. and that has really alienated a lot of longtime republican voters in the state," Cole said.
Arizona voters are almost evenly divided between Independent, Republican, and Democrat.
A Trump endorsement may have been the difference in the primary, but Cole thinks in November it could be a problem. "60% of republican voters believe there were problems with the 2020 election. That means 30-40% of Republicans don't believe that message," Cole said.
Cole says Republican candidates will need to talk more about policy and less about Donald Trump if they want to have success statewide in November.
Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers, a target of Kelli Ward during the primary, says it may be too late for that.
"When you've done what you've done to alienate people in your party and expect them to, you know, salute and it's for the good of the party, nah, the party doesn't care about us," Bowers said.