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Arizona GOP opts out of 2020 presidential nominating contest

The Arizona Republican Party officially canceled its 2020 presidential primary contest on Monday, joining several other state Republican parties.

State Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward confirmed the party’s decision in a letter to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs obtained by The Hill.

Kansas and South Carolina’s Republican parties canceled their presidential primaries over the weekend.

Nevada will reportedly follow suit.

This is not the first time Arizona has had presidential primaries canceled: the Arizona Democratic Party did not have primaries in 2012 and 1996, when former Presidents Obama and Clinton, respectively, were running for reelection. 

The moves to cancel primaries in several states comes as President Trump faces long-shot primary challenges from former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).

Walsh blasted the Republican Party on Friday for allowing state parties to cancel the contests, calling it “undemocratic BS.”

Trump’s campaign has worked with several state Republican parties to hold off the possibility of a primary challenger and to install pro-Trump leaders in state party roles.

The state parties that have canceled primaries so far have argued doing so will save money that can be put toward other races.

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