Aug 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Arizona speaker Rusty Bowers loses seat after testifying at Jan. 6 committee

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testifies before the Jan. 6 select committee

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testifies to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 21, 2022. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Rusty Bowers, the Arizona House speaker who rose to national prominence after testifying to the Jan. 6 committee about Donald Trump's attempts to pressure him into overturning his state's vote for Joe Biden, lost the Republican primary for an open state Senate seat, per AP.

Driving the news: Former state Sen. David Farnsworth trounced Bowers for the Republican nomination in Legislative District 10, a GOP stronghold that primarily covers that conservative eastern part of suburban Mesa.

The intrigue: Bowers earned the wrath of Trump and his supporters by refusing to help with the attempt to assign Arizona's electoral votes to the defeated president.

  • He also declared that Biden won the state fairly, and refused to go along with proposals by election deniers that would have radically changed the way elections are conducted in Arizona.
  • Trump endorsed Farnsworth after Bowers testified to the Jan. 6 committee, and at a June 22 rally in Prescott Valley, Ariz., he blasted the speaker as "a RINO coward who participated against the Republican Party in the totally partisan unselect committee of political thugs and hacks the other day and disgraced himself, and he disgraced the state of Arizona."
  • The Arizona Republican Party's executive committee censured Bowers two weeks before the primary.

The other side: Farnsworth is a supporter of Trump's false claims that he was cheated out of the 2020 election, and said during a recent debate against Bowers, "The devil was behind losing that election."

Context: There is no Democratic Senate candidate in the overwhelmingly Republican district, meaning Farnsworth is guaranteed to return to the Senate.

  • Farnsworth previously served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1995-96, and in the Senate from 2013-2020.
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