Gov. Doug Ducey on party censure: 'I report to the people of Arizona'

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Sunday brushed off the state GOP’s decision to censure him over perceived disloyalty to former President Donald Trump, saying he is a proud Republican who worked hard for the former president but he had to certify the November election results.

“I had very little choice but to do the right thing, follow the law and the Constitution,” Mr. Ducey told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Arizona’s Republican Party members on Jan. 23 censured Mr. Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. John McCain, all of whom clashed with Mr. Trump.

The symbolic action came after the state GOP reelected Kelli Ward, who calls herself a “Trump Republican,” for a second term as chairwoman. All three of the censured Republicans attended the inauguration of President Biden in Washington.

The party said it censured Mr. Ducey over his imposing of emergency COVID-19 rules that “restrict personal liberties and force compliance to unconstitutional edicts.”

But the governor also had resisted Mr. Trump’s calls to overturn Mr. Biden’s narrow win in the state.

Mr. Ducey said he wished the elections turned out differently but he had to certify the results.

“I worked incredibly hard to deliver the state for Donald Trump,” Mr. Ducey said.

The Republican governor’s cellphone rang to the tune of “Hail to the Chief” as he certified the election, signaling Mr. Trump wanted to reach him. Mr. Ducey calmly set the phone aside and continued the paperwork.

“Regardless of who was calling, I was going to call them back,” Mr. Ducey told CNN, noting it was a public event in front of cameras.

He said he later explained to Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence they could file legal actions after he certified the results and that future actions were up to the judiciary.

Mr. Ducey said Mr. Trump’s legal team and others failed him by feeding him false information about post-election procedures. He also said Mr. Trump’s complaints about him on social media didn’t bother him.

“I report to the people of Arizona. They are my boss,” he said.

Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

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