Arizona State Representative Rusty Bowers (right), who gave emotional testimony describing former President Donald Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 presidential election before the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 riots in the US Capitol He was defeated Tuesday in the Republican primary for a state Senate seat for a candidate endorsed by Trump.
FFormer state senator David Farnsworth handily won the race for the seat representing areas east of Mesa. Bowers served in the state legislature for 17 years and is the Speaker of the Arizona State House of Representatives. Farnsworth had a lower profile in the state and less campaign money, but he had a powerful weapon: Trump’s endorsement.
“Rusty Bowers is a coward from RINO who ran against the GOP in the fully partisan non-select committee of political thugs and hackers the other day and disgraced himself, and disgraced the state of Arizona,” Trump said. declared at a rally in Prescott Valley last month, using the acronym for “Republican in name only.” The backed up Farnsworth on Truth Social in early July, saying that Bowers needed to lose and “the highly respected David Farnsworth is the man to do it.”
There were relatively few policy differences between the two men, save for their starkly different views on the 2020 election. Bowers’ defeat is another sign on the GOP’s path toward a wholly undemocratic entity willing to sideline the election. fair, fueled by a cult of personality totally devoted to Trump and his political fortunes.
During a recent debate, Farnsworth said of the results of the 2020 presidential election: “This is a real conspiracy headed by the devil himself.” He has also expressed positive views on QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory that most Democrats are in thrall to a global network of pedophiles. “I have talked to quite a few people who really think they are good people who are trying to get the truth out there,” he said in text messages to a then-friend who revealed the exchange in 2020.
Bowers instantly became the object of scorn among Trump-aligned conservatives when he testified before the House select committee in June. The executive committee of the Arizona Republican Party formally censored Bowers in July. “He is no longer a Republican in good standing and we are calling on Republicans to replace him at the polls in the August Primary,” tweeted state party chair Kelli Ward.
President Joe Biden won Arizona by only about 10,000 votes, making the state an immediate focus of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results. There is no evidence significant voter fraud occurred, and subsequent Republican-backed audits found that Biden actually carried the state by more than the initial November count.
Bowers told the committee on January 6 that Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuilani launched an extreme pressure campaign immediately after the election, urging Bowers to use his powers as House Speaker to replace Biden voters with loyal voters. to Trump to change the Electoral College count. During a phone call, Bowers said, he pressed the duo for their evidence of voter fraud, but they provided none. “We have a lot of theories, but we don’t have the evidence,” Giuliani finally admitted, according to to Bowers’ testimony.
Bowers refused to play along and seemed choked up when he explained to the committee why. “I will not play by the laws to which I have sworn allegiance,” he said. “How else am I going to get close? [God] in the desert of life, knowing that I ask for this guidance only to be cowardly in defending the path he led me to take?
Democrats did not field any candidates in this largely Republican district, so the November election will be a formality for Farnsworth.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.