“Inside the G.O.P.’s State Party Problem”

I had missed this NYT piece from a few days ago:

State Republican parties in roughly half of the most important battleground states are awash in various degrees of dysfunction, debt and disarray.

In Arizona, the chairman of the state’s Republican Party recently resigned after a leaked tape surfaced in which he appeared to offer a bribe to persuade a candidate to stay out of a Senate race.

In Georgia, the state party’s treasury has shrunk by more than 75 percent as it has spent more than $1.3 million on legal fees since 2023, largely to defend fake electors facing criminal charges, including the former party chairman. And in Nevada, the party chairman is himself under indictment for his role as a fake elector in the 2020 election.

With former President Donald J. Trump tightening his grip on the Republican presidential nomination, the widespread problems have caused deepening concern among top Republican officials. There is no one explanation for the disparate party struggles in the swing states that matter most for the presidency. But across the map, state parties have become combat zones for the broader struggles inside the G.O.P. between the party’s old guard and its ascendant Trump wing, with rifts that can prove divisive and costly.

The situation is especially acute in Michigan, where a vicious power struggle remains unresolved. Pete Hoekstra, the new party chairman officially recognized by the Republican National Committee, remains locked out of the state party servers and emails by the person clinging to power, Kristina Karamo. That fight comes as questions mount over where all the money has gone in the state.

A top lawyer for House Republicans wrote an unusually acidic letter last month to the Michigan state party, accusing party officials of “inexplicably” squandering the $263,000 they had been given by the campaign arm of House Republicans on “exorbitant” and unnecessary expenses that would do almost nothing to help Republicans keep hold of the House.

“We are growing increasingly alarmed,” the general counsel to the campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee, wrote in the letter.

Strategists who have worked on past presidential campaigns say that state parties matter and that, when effective, they can serve as some of the most important unseen and unsung forces in national politics. They provide an efficient way for the national party to inject cash into key states and to coordinate field operations up and down the ballot, while allowing campaigns to leverage cheaper postage rates and unrivaled local know-how….

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