Arizona G.O.P. Chairman Resigns After Tape Suggests Attempt to Bribe Kari Lake


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The chairman of Arizona’s Republican Party resigned abruptly on Wednesday, a day after the publication of a 10-minute recording of a conversation between himself and Kari Lake, a former nominee for governor, in which he appeared to offer a bribe to persuade Ms. Lake to drop her 2024 Senate campaign.

In the recording, which was published by The Daily Mail, Jeff DeWit, the chairman, tells Ms. Lake that there are “very powerful people that want to keep you out” of the race, and suggests he is passing on a message from them. He says he had been told to ask her: “Is there any companies out there or something that could just put her on the payroll and give her — to keep her out?”

Later in the conversation, which Mr. DeWit repeatedly urges Ms. Lake not to repeat to anyone, he starts to ask, “Is there a number at which — ” before Ms. Lake interrupts, saying “I can be bought?” He replies, “Not be bought,” but instead wait a few years before running.

Ms. Lake brushed off the attempts, repeatedly telling Mr. DeWit that she was offended by the approach. “That’s immoral — I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror,” she says, according to the recording.

The recording concludes with one more request from Mr. DeWit: “I actually just wish you’d give me a counteroffer that’s big,” he says. She replies: “I can’t be bought.”

Ms. Lake, a close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2022 with a fervent embrace of his false claims about the 2020 election. Arizona voters instead picked her opponent, Katie Hobbs, flipping control of the governor’s mansion to a Democrat in a key battleground state.

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Arizona G.O.P. Chairman Resigns After Tape Suggests Attempt to Bribe Kari Lake

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