Arizona Chairman Steps Down Following Leak Scandal

( – On Jan. 24, Arizona Republican Party chairman Jeff DeWit, 51, resigned from his role after the release of a secret audio recording of him allegedly offering Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake a bribe to exit the race.

According to DeWit, he was coerced into resigning after Lake’s team said he needed to “resign today” otherwise “a new, more damaging recording” would be released.

On Jan. 22, the Daily Mail released the secret audio recording of a conversation that DeWit says occurred 10 months ago in Lake’s home. During the conversation, he allegedly tells Lake that “powerful people” from “back east” want her to stay out of the Senate race and asks if there is “a number at which” before Lake cuts him off, asking, “I can be bought?” She said she is “a great candidate” and that “these people are corrupt.”

When DeWit heard the recording, he stated, “I said things I regret,” but that he realized he had been “set up” and that the audio “selectively edited.” He said the conversation was “intended to offer perspective, not coercion,” and he was “offering a helpful perspective to someone I considered a friend.” DeWit added that he believes Lake “orchestrated this entire situation” to gain control of the state Republican Party. He stated that her responses were crafted “with the knowledge that she was recording” the conversation for later use, where she could “portray herself as a hero in her own story.”

Lake’s team has responded to DeWit’s accusations that they were involved with the recordings by stating nobody on her campaign team blackmailed DeWit.

The chief operating officer for former President Donald Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns and as NASA’s chief financial officer, DeWit has been the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party since January 2023.

After running unsuccessfully for Arizona governor in 2022, Lake is running for the seat held by independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema against Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego.

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