Arizona House Speaker Who Rejected Trump Pleas Faces Voters (Getty)
BOB CHRISTIE Tuesday, 02 August 2022 05:22 PM EDT
Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House, faces voters Tuesday and the anger of supporters of former President Donald Trump after he rejected pleas to help overturn the 2020 election results and testified before Congress about the efforts.
Bowers is trying to move to the state Senate because of term limits and faces an opponent who criticizes him for refusing to help Trump or go along with a 2021 audit that Republican leaders in the Senate commissioned.
Bowers faces an uphill battle in the eastern Phoenix suburb of Mesa, especially after the state Republican Party censured him following his June testimony before the panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress. Trump endorsed his opponent, former state Sen. David Farnsworth.
“I’m well aware that I’m highly distrusted,” Bowers told The Associated Press. "My district is a very Trump district, and who knows how this is all going to work out.
“And if it doesn’t work out, great, I’d do it all again the same way,” Bowers said.
Trump urged Bowers to help with a plan to replace electors committed to now-president Joe Biden during a phone call weeks after Trump lost the 2020 election. Bowers insisted on seeing Trump’s evidence of voter fraud, which he insists Trump’s team never produced beyond allegations.
Bowers is a conservative Republican, but Farnsworth said he's not conservative enough and has become less so since becoming speaker following the 2018 elections.