In his first-ever political defeat, former Gov. Fife Symington lost his bid Tuesday to become Republican chairman of McCain’s home legislative district in north-central Phoenix. Symington was not considered conservative enough to defeat District 11 incumbent Rob Haney, a retired IBM manager who took over the organization two years ago and has been outspoken in his criticism of McCain.
“This factionalism has hurt GOP candidates, and it cost (Hesselbrock) his seat,” Symington said. “A district chair should bring Republicans together, not make war on one of your important national officeholders and a potential president. This does not bode well for the district in terms of a Republican future, in my view.”
Symington said District 11 Republicans should be trying to come together to reclaim ground lost in the last election, not picking fights over ideological differences.
“The vitriol is very high against McCain, which is just nuts,” Symington said. “The general public understands, or needs to understand, that just because that kind of noise is coming out of District 11, it doesn’t indicate a lack of support for McCain. That viewpoint is prevailing in that small bubble, but McCain is enormously popular.”
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