Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) on Wednesday lost his bid in the state Senate GOP primary to former state Sen. David Farnsworth, who gained the endorsement of former President Trump. Bowers’ defeat comes months after he testified publicly before the Jan. 6 Select Committee about Trump’s efforts to pressure him into subverting Arizona’s 2020 presidential election results.
Bowers has faced backlash from fellow Republicans in the aftermath of his public testimony to the committee in June. Bowers testified about his interactions with White House advisors and lawyers as they tried to toss out the election results, which included detailing his conversations with Trump himself and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. Bowers refused to carry out Trump’s request for him to replace Arizona’s electors with fake ones to falsely declare Trump’s victory in the battleground state.
In his testimony before the Jan. 6 Committee, Bowers pushed back on Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud, saying that Trump’s team failed to provide substantial evidence to back up their claims. Bowers recalled a conversation he had with Giuliani, who he said told him, “We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence.”
Trump-backed Farnsworth was an early supporter of Trump’s election lie and of a partisan “audit” led by Arizona GOP Senate leaders that took shape after Biden was sworn in.
Prior to his defeat, Bowers made clear that he has disavowed the former president, telling ABC News in an interview that aired Sunday that he will not vote for Trump again if he were to launch a re-election bid in 2024.
“The idea of throwing out the election of the president is like, OK, so what part of Jupiter do I get to land on and colonize?” Bowers said in an interview with ABC News.
Bowers, whom Trump attacked after his testimony, said he believes the former president lacks courage.
“I have thought at times someone born how he was and raised how he was, he has no idea what a hard life is, and what people have to go through in the real world,” Bowers said. “He has no idea what courage is.”
Bowers also criticized Republicans who continue to boost Trump’s election fraud falsehoods, saying they are ruled by “thuggery and intimidation.”
“So, you know, they, they found a niche, they found a way and it’s fear. And people can use fear, demagogues like to use fears as a weapon. And they weaponize everything,” Bowers said. “That’s not leadership to me to use thuggery.”