ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona GOP Chair Jeff DeWit resigns following leaked Kari Lake audio

Jan 24, 2024, 12:15 PM | Updated: 12:49 pm

Arizona Republican Party Chair Jeff DeWit resigned from the position on Jan. 24, 2024. (Getty Image...

Arizona Republican Party Chair Jeff DeWit resigned from the position on Jan. 24, 2024. (Getty Images File Photo)

(Getty Images File Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona Republican Party Chair Jeff DeWit resigned Wednesday after audio was leaked of him apparently offering Kari Lake a financial incentive to stay out of the 2024 U.S. Senate race.

DeWit’s departure comes as The Daily Mail, a British news organization, released audio on Tuesday from the March 2023 conversation between the two. DeWit, in announcing his resignation, said the clip was a “deceptive tactic” and a “selectively edited audio recording.”

“I said things I regret, but I realize when hearing Lake’s recording that I was set up,” DeWit said in a statement.

“I believe she orchestrated this entire situation to have control over the state party and it is obvious from the recording that she crafted her performance responses with the knowledge that she was recording it, intending to use this recording later to portray herself as a hero in her own story.”

Lake told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday, before DeWit stepped down, that the conversation took place at her house while she was packing for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland. DeWit said the conversation happened while he was employing Lake for his private company.

“Since our conversation where I advised Lake to postpone her campaign and aim for the governor’s position in two years, she has been on a mission to destroy me,” DeWit said. “It was a suggestion made in good faith, believing it could benefit both her future prospects and the party’s overall strategy.”

Lake didn’t accept any offers from DeWit, instead deciding to enter the race for independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat in October.

Lake said she’s had a strained relationship with DeWit since the conversation occurred. Lake called on DeWit to resign prior to his announcement.

“You don’t put somebody in a position with a conversation like that,” she said Wednesday. “That’s disrespectful, it’s unethical, and so I’ve had a very terse relationship with him. I thought he should have resigned a long time ago.”

Who is Jeff DeWit?

DeWit was elected as the state GOP chair a year ago, succeeding Kelli Ward, after a stint as NASA’s chief financial officer under former president Donald Trump.

He is also a former state treasurer who served as chair of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in Arizona.

Lake endorsed DeWit for party chair.

What did Kari Lake and Jeff DeWit say in leaked audio?

The leak came just days before two major party events in Phoenix: Trump’s appearance at Friday’s Freedom Fest and Saturday’s Arizona GOP mandatory meeting.

In the audio, a voice the Mail said was confirmed by two sources to be DeWit’s tells Lake that “very powerful” people wanted to keep her out of the Senate race and were “willing to put their money where their mouth is in a big way.”

DeWit says it’s Lake’s choice whether to accept the offer, suggesting she should refrain from running for office for two years, and asks her to keep the conversation private.

He then mentions unspecified parties from “back East” who inquired about the possibility of “companies out there that could just put her on the payroll to keep her out.”

“I’m not going to let these people back in D.C. tell me not to run,” Lake says at one point. “I’m not going to pause for two years. The battle is now. I’m offended by whoever these people are that they are trying to buy me out.”

DeWit later raises the idea of “a number,” to which Lake says she wouldn’t put her political ambitions on hold for a billion dollars.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Two people died and four others were injured when a car crashed into a wall and home in Peoria on A...

KTAR.com

2nd person dies as a result of car crashing into Peoria house over weekend

A second person died after a car crashed into a house in Peoria over the weekend, authorities said Monday.

11 minutes ago

File photo of a Phoenix Fire Department hazmat truck. Multiple buildings were evacuated in Phoenix ...

KTAR.com

Buildings evacuated because of gas leak near 27th and Northern avenues in Phoenix

Multiple buildings were evacuated in Phoenix on Monday after a gas leak caused a hazmat situation, authorities said.

2 hours ago

A promotional graphic for “The Marley Brothers: The Legacy Tour” shows Ziggy, Stephen, Julian, ...

Kevin Stone

The Marley Brothers announce Phoenix stop as part of tour to celebrate Bob Marley’s music

Fans of reggae legend Bob Marley can “Get Up, Stand Up” in Phoenix this summer when The Marley Brothers celebrate their father’s music.

2 hours ago

Photo illustration of cryptocurrency in front of price chart on a computer. Arizona has entered int...

Kevin Stone

Arizona enters into multistate settlement with TradeStation over crypto investment program

Arizona has entered into a $1.5 million multistate settlement with TradeStation over a crypto interest-earning program.

3 hours ago

Headshots of Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, left, and Liz Archuleta, whom Hobbs appointed to the Arizona...

Kevin Stone

Gov. Katie Hobbs makes her first appointments to Arizona Board of Regents

Gov. Katie Hobbs recently made her first appointments to the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s three public universities.

4 hours ago

Follow @KTAR923...

Sponsored Content by Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Arizona GOP Chair Jeff DeWit resigns following leaked Kari Lake audio