Kelli Ward

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Kelli Ward
Kelli Ward.jpg
Arizona State Senate District 5
In office
January 7, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 1, 2017
Years in position 2
Base salary$24,000/year
Per diem$35/day for the first 120 days of regular session and for special sessions and $10/day thereafter.
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sDuke University, 1991
OtherDO, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, 1996
Date of birthJanuary 25, 1969
Place of birthFairmont, WV
ProfessionEnvironmental Chemist
Campaign website
Kelli Ward is a Republican member of the Arizona State Senate, representing District 5. She was first elected to the chamber in 2012.

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Ward served on the following committees:

Arizona Committee Assignments, 2015
Education, Chair
Health and Human Services, Vice-chair
Public Safety, Military and Technology


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Ward served on the following committees:


NSA surveillance

In January 2014, Ward introduced legislation pushing back against the National Security Agency and the federal government’s warrantless surveillance programs. The legislation would bar the state from providing material support to the NSA’s activities and ban any data collected without a warrant from being used in court.[1]

Campaign themes


Ward's campaign website listed the following issues:[2]

  • Jobs & Economy
Excerpt: "Dr. Kelli Ward believes in personal responsibility, limited government intervention in the day to day lives of our citizens and lower taxes in order to stimulate economic growth and job creation."
  • Education
Excerpt: "Education is a large part of Dr. Ward's world. As a mom with three kids still in school, assuring quality education is at the forefront of her goals. "
  • Faith and Family
Excerpt: "Dr. Ward believes that reliance on conservative principles and values strengthen families and our state."
  • Healthcare
Excerpt: "Dr. Ward has medical and administrative expertise - assuring that programs and budget issues are addressed in the appropriate manner in the AZ Senate"
  • Immigration
Excerpt: "Dr. Ward believes in legal immigration and a secure border. She also believes that states have the right to protect themselves if the Federal government will not."

Medicaid expansion lawsuit

See also: Can Arizona conservatives beat the clock to block Medicaid expansion from taking effect Jan. 1?

Kelli Ward is one of the 36 Republican members of the state legislature who signed onto a lawsuit in September 2013 against Arizona Governor Jan Brewer with the conservative Goldwater Institute over the Arizona Medicaid Expansion.[3]

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act in June 2012, Brewer, a Republican who had long fought for its repeal, ultimately broke ranks with her party on the issue of Medicaid.[4] She first publicly embraced Arizona's participation in the federally controlled Medicaid expansion during her 2013 State of the State address. In addition to conceding the futility of continued opposition to Obamacare in the wake of the Supreme Court decision and Obama's re-election victory, Brewer discussed the considerable popular support for expanding patient eligibility: residents had already voted twice to make the state government provide free care for everyone up to the federal poverty line.

By June, a Medicaid expansion law had obtained passage in Arizona, despite a reluctant Republican-led state legislature. The United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives responded by filing a referendum to block the Medicaid Expansion law from taking effect, but the referendum failed to collect the required 86,405 valid signatures to land on the November 2014 ballot before the September 11, 2013, deadline.[5]

The referendum option off the table, expansion opponents decided a lawsuit was the best available alternative. The suit was filed on the grounds that because the expansion would require participating hospitals to pay a set fee to the state to help compensate for future reductions in the federal subsidy, the law contains a tax and therefore its implementation under the control of the executive branch would violate the state law enforcing separation of powers. While the imposition of such a fee is an authority given to state agencies "over 80 times in the past five years,"[3] according to a Brewer spokesperson, critics insist that the fee's resemblance to a tax is too close for constitutional comfort, per Article 3, Section 22, the distribution of powers.[6]

The state's conservative interests, plus the 36 Republican members of the legislature who voted against Arizona's involvement in the federal government-controlled Medicaid reform, hoped to have expansion shut down before it officially went live Jan. 1, 2014, with eligible residents beginning to enroll as early as Oct. 1.



See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Arizona State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 26, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 28, 2014. Incumbent Kelli Ward was unopposed in the Republican primary and was unchallenged in the general election.[7][8][9]


This is a map of the 5th legislative district of Arizona before and after the 2010 redistricting. The image also includes the partisan breakdown of the district.
See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2012

Ward won election in the 2012 election for Arizona State Senate District 5. She defeated Nancy McLain and Sam Scarmardo in the Republican primary on August 28, 2012. She won the general election on November 6, 2012.[10][11]

Arizona State Senate, District 5, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKelli Ward 71.2% 49,613
     Democratic Beth Weisser 28.8% 20,040
Total Votes 69,653
Arizona State Senate, District 5 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKelli Ward 42.2% 9,925
Sam Scarmardo 33.3% 7,832
Nancy McLain 24.5% 5,762
Total Votes 23,519

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Ward is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Ward raised a total of $163,047 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 22, 2013.[12]

Kelli Ward's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Arizona State Senate, District 5 Won $163,047
Grand Total Raised $163,047


Ward won election to the Arizona State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Ward raised a total of $163,047.
Arizona State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Kelli Ward's campaign in 2012
Ward, Kelli$87,500
Arizona Association Of Realtors$1,736
Pinnacle West$1,736
Bnsf Railway$1,000
Arizona Medical Association$700
Total Raised in 2012$163,047
Source:Follow the Money


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Arizona

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Arizona scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2014, the 51st Arizona State Legislature was in session from January 13 to April 24.[13]

Legislators are scored on their stances on conservative fiscal policy.
Legislators are scored on their votes on ASBA's legislative priority bills.
Legislators are scored on their stances on animals and animal protection.
Legislators are scored on their stances on secular policy.
Legislators are scored on their votes on "anti-environmental" and "anti-democracy" bills.


In 2013, the 51st Arizona State Legislature was in session from January 14 to June 14.[13]

Legislators are scored on their stances on conservative fiscal policy.
Legislators are scored on their votes on bills related to small business.
Legislators are scored on "their support of principles of limited constitutional government."
Legislators are scored on their stances on animals and animal protection.
Legislators are scored on their stances on secular policy.
Legislators are scored on their votes on "anti-environmental" and "anti-democracy" bills.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Sylvia Allen (R)
Arizona State Senate District 5
Succeeded by