Arizona GOP Censures Bowers After His Jan. 6 Testimony, Claims It’s About Legislation

Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Russell Bowers (R) testifies during the House Jan. 6 Committee’s hearing on June 21, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Arizona Republican Party’s executive committee voted Tuesday night to censure Arizona state House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), who recently testified at one of the House Jan. 6 Committee’s public hearings.

Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward announced the censure decision late Tuesday night, saying that Bowers is “no longer a Republican in good standing.” She called on GOP voters to oust Bowers in the state’s upcoming primaries, where he is running for Arizona state Senate.

Neither Ward nor the censure mentioned Bowers’ testimony, during which the GOP leader described how then-President Donald Trump tried to pressure him into helping him attempt to steal the 2020 election (a scheme Ward herself was involved in).

Instead, the language of the censure argued that the party’s rebuke was prompted by Bowers’ votes on legislation: that he voted and/or sponsored bills for funding education and making sexual orientation and gender identity a protected class, and opposed legislation that would establish only two genders on government documents and permanently reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.

The censure also accused Bowers of “killing all meaningful election integrity bills.”

Additionally, the party claimed Bowers has “not been forthright in his interactions between others in legislative leadership, Republican Party leadership, his dealings with Maricopa County bureaucrats, lobbyists, consultants, [and] the liberal media.”

Bowers has “demonstrated he is unfit to serve the platform of” the GOP, therefore the censure aimed to “encourage all registered Republicans to expel him permanently from office in the impending primary election.”

Bowers himself is more than aware of his electoral prospects, telling NBC News this week that “it’s going to be a miracle” if he gets reelected after serving as a public witness for the Jan. 6 committee.

And left unsaid in the censure is that exact testimony, which predictably triggered Trump’s rage, as has been consistently the case for Republicans who’ve assisted in investigations into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and the ex-president’s election steal plot.

“Bowers must be defeated, and highly respected David Farnsworth is the man to do it,” Trump said as he was endorsing Bowers’ rival last month.

And Ward has come under scrutiny by both the House Jan. 6 Committee and the Justice Department’s investigations for participating in Trump’s fake elector scheme as one of the sham electors.

Both the committee and the DOJ have subpoenaed her in their probes.

Bowers did not respond to TPM’s request for comment at the time of writing.

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