gopUse of proxy votes at a December 19 meeting to select nominees for appointment to the District 5 senate seat formerly held by Kelli Ward sparked some bickering within the Mohave County republican party. County GOP Chairman Mike Ward said he is not concerned that the infighting will harm party efforts.

   “I don’t feel it’s problematic. I think maybe that it’s been overblown as an issue,” Ward said. “I don’t plan to get caught up in it.”

   Ward said there’s no doubt that an orchestrated proxy harvesting effort led to the nominations of Sue Donahue, LaJuanna Gillette and George Schnittgrund. The Board of Supervisors selected Donahue, who has been sworn in as senator.

   “It was clear that there was a panel of candidates where all of the votes went to the same three people. It was clear that there was a grouping of candidates that people got together and decided they were going to vote for. That decision was made before the meeting ever started,” Ward said. Yet, he said lobbying and working to earn blocks of votes is part of American politics and is allowed under republican party guidelines.

   “That’s totally within the rules. Nobody’s broken the rules. It’s the way the bylaws are written,” Ward said.

   Ward said he would like to propose some precinct committee (PC) bylaw reforms during the party’s quarterly meeting in April. He favors precinct committee people who will work for the party rather than simply handing their votes over for colleagues to cast.

   “I would rather have fewer PC’s rather than PC’s that basically get elected only so that they can give a piece of paper to another PC to vote for them,” Ward said. “PC’s are supposed to be the workforce of the party. They’re supposed to be knocking on doors, working phone calls and getting out the vote.”