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Arizona House Speaker Who Testified At Jan. 6 Hearing Loses To Trump-Backed Primary Challenger

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Arizona state Rep. Rusty Bowers (R), who gave emotional testimony describing former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election to the House choose committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the U.S. Capitol, was defeated Tuesday within the Republican major for a state Senate seat by a Trump-backed candidate.

Former state Sen. David Farnsworth simply gained the competition for the seat representing areas east of Mesa. Bowers served within the state legislature for 17 years and is speaker of the Arizona state House. Farnsworth had a decrease profile within the state and fewer marketing campaign cash however had a robust weapon: Trump’s endorsement.

“Rusty Bowers is 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,” Trump declared at a rally in Prescott Valley final month, utilizing the acronym for “Republican in name only.” He endorsed Farnsworth on Truth Social earlier in July, saying Bowers wanted to lose and that “highly respected David Farnsworth is the man to do it.”

There have been comparatively few coverage variations between the 2 males, save for his or her starkly completely different views on the 2020 election. Bowers’ defeat is one other highway signal on the Republican Party’s journey towards a totally anti-democratic entity prepared to brush apart honest elections, fueled by a persona cult absolutely devoted to Trump and his political fortunes.

During a latest debate, Farnsworth mentioned of the 2020 presidential election outcomes: “This is a real conspiracy headed up by the devil himself.” He has additionally expressed optimistic views of QAnon, the far-right conspiracy concept that holds most Democrats are in thrall to a world community of pedophiles. “I have talked to quite a few people who really believe they are good people who are trying to bring out the truth,” he mentioned in textual content messages to a then-friend who revealed the change in 2020.

Bowers turned an prompt object of scorn amongst Trump-aligned conservatives when he testified earlier than the House choose committee in June. The Arizona GOP’s govt committee formally censured Bowers in July. “He is no longer a Republican in good standing & we call on Republicans to replace him at the ballot box in the August primary,” tweeted state celebration chair Kelli Ward.

President Joe Biden gained Arizona by solely about 10,000 votes, which made the state a right away focus for Trump’s efforts to overturn the outcomes of the election. There is zero proof that any significant voter fraud occurred, and subsequent Republican-backed audits discovered that Biden really gained the state by greater than the preliminary November tally.

Bowers advised the Jan. 6 committee that Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuilani initiated an excessive strain marketing campaign instantly after the election, urging Bowers to make use of his powers as House speaker to substitute Biden electors with electors loyal to Trump to alter the Electoral College depend. During a cellphone name, Bowers mentioned, he pressed the duo for his or her proof of voter fraud, however they offered none. “We’ve got lots of theories, but we don’t have the evidence,” Giuliani in the end admitted, in accordance to Bowers’ testimony.

Bowers refused to play alongside, and he appeared to choke up when he defined to the committee why. “I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to,” he mentioned. “How else will I ever approach [God] in the wilderness of life, knowing that I ask of this guidance only to show myself a coward in defending the course he led me to take?”

Democrats didn’t put ahead a candidate on this closely Republican district, so the November election will likely be a formality for Farnsworth.

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