Arizona GOP censures Rusty Bowers after Jan. 6 testimony

The Arizona GOP executive committee censured state House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers on Tuesday and called on Republican voters to “replace him in the ballot box” in the August state Senate GOP primary following his testimony in front of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Bowers testified in June before the House select committee, refuting former President Trump’s claims of election fraud and saying he was pressured by Trump and his former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to overturn President Biden’s Arizona victory.

Bowers told the committee that he’d pushed back, asking to see evidence of the former president’s fraud claims, but that no proof was given.

In a press release Tuesday, Arizona’s GOP accused Bowers of “direct violation of the Republican platform” and lambasted him for siding with Democrats on legislation dealing with education, immigration, gender and elections.

Among the reasons to vote Bowers out of office, the release listed “giving tax-payer funded in-state tuition to illegal aliens at our state universities”; “killing a bill to permanently reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance in our children’s schools”; and sponsoring “one of the most horrific attacks on the Republican Party” with a bill that designated sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.

Bowers was also flagged for being the only Republican to oppose a bill to establish a gender binary in government documents.

The Arizona GOP also claimed that Bowers killed “all meaningful election integrity bills.” In February, Bowers opposed a bill that would allow the state legislature to reject election results and another that would eliminate early voting.

In a tweet confirming Bowers’s censure, Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward, a former state senator, said “he is no longer a Republican in good standing.”

Bowers, who’s worked in the Arizona House since 2015, is making a bid for the state Senate in this year’s midterms. After his June testimony before the Jan. 6 committee, Trump backed Bowers’s opponent David Farnsworth.

The Hill has reached out to Bowers and the Arizona GOP for comment.

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