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Arizona Republican Party standing by Sen. John McCain for now

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, talks committee's ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I., right, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, before hearing testimony by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and Joints Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva. Carter said the U.S. is prepared to assist the Iraqi army with more personnel and equipment to help them fight Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Republican Party is not yet ready to officially part ways with Sen. John McCain, the state’s senior senator who is up for reelection this year.

On Saturday, the Arizona GOP rejected a resolution that would throw its support behind anyone else who ran against McCain. A consultant said the resolution may be illegal, in that it may be out of bounds for party leaders to dictate who members endorse.

However, individual party members can legally endorse whomever they would like, provided they are not coerced into giving their official support.

Despite the party sticking by him for now, McCain said, with the fluctuating political climate and wavering support for the establishment, he knows he will have to work hard to win his upcoming election.

“I have always believed that anyone who takes an election for granted is not smart,” he said. “I have worked hard, I will continue to work hard and campaign hard.”

McCain said he is “confident of victory” in his Senate race, but is aware that anything can happen in the arena of politics.

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