Jan 6th Witness Rusty Bowers Doesn’t Regret Losing GOP Races

PHOENIX (AP) — Voters in Arizona relegated House Speaker Rusty Bowers to the history books after the conservative Republican crossed over to former President Donald Trump and refused to support his unsupported claims he lost in 2020 to fraud.

Bowers was thoroughly defeated in Tuesday’s GOP primaries, losing to a former state senator nearly 2 to 1 among voters in his district of Phoenix’s eastern suburbs. He tried to run for the Senate after term limits prevented another run of the state house.

Bowers knew his seat was on the line and said he didn’t regret standing up to Trump.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” he said on Wednesday. “I would do it fifty times in a row.”

Bowers, who has impeccable conservative credentials except for one, had rejected Trump’s pleas to help him negate the November 2020 election results that saw him lose in Arizona, the first time a Republican has won the presidential race in the state. had lost since Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection victory.

And then he further angered the former president and his supporters in the Bowers district by testifying in June before a panel investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on Congress over the president’s actions.

Trump Supported His OpponentDavid Farnsworth, and the state Republican Party censored him.

And then the voters did.

Bowers said the former president has soiled the party.

“President Trump is a divisive force that has thrashed our party,” he told The Associated Press. “And it’s not enough to disagree. You have to disagree and then stomp on people and ruin their reputation and chase them and beat them up and you just keep beating them up. That’s the Trump model.”

He said the Republican state party, which broke tradition by strongly backing Trump’s candidates and denigrating those like Bowers who failed to get in line, has been in line and has a “bullying mentality.”

“And I think you’ll find out when all these people leave this party, that one day there’s going to be a hard reckoning,” Bowers said. “And I have a feeling it could be later this year.”

Farnsworth automatically wins the Senate seat, as the heavily Republican district in Mesa’s eastern Phoenix suburbs did not draw Democrats in the primaries.

Arizona Trump’s supporters fared very well on Tuesday, with his elected candidate for governor in the lead and candidates he supported for the U.S. Senate, Attorney General and Secretary of State all winning their elections.

Trump candidates also passed several other GOP legislative races.

In another eastern suburban district, GOP Senator Tyler Pace lost to a Trump-approved challenger. Robert Scantlebury’s campaign website said Pace is “a RINO like Jeff “Flakey” Flake (if that’s even possible!), who never had a clue.”

Flake, who declined to seek reelection to his US Senate seat in 2018 after admitting that his refusal to support Trump made it impossible for him to win a Republican primary, now serves as President Joe Biden’s ambassador to Turkey. Opponents call him a “Republican in Name Only” or “RINO.”

The reclassification put two Trump-supporting senators, Kelly Townsend and Wendy Rogers, in the same district. Rogers defeated Townsend easily.

Rogers has faced repeated ethical accusations for her inflammatory rhetoric, support for white supremacists, and conspiracy theorist-laden tweets.

Townsend said she felt compelled to stand up to Rogers when she refused to denounce white nationalism after speaking at a conference in Florida in February.

“If I don’t run into her and make that statement, win, lose or draw, then her actions become ours,” Townsend said Monday. “It kind of spoils the whole (Republican) party.”

Rogers has earned a national following, raising a whopping $3 million from donors across the country since taking office in early 2021. Townsend had raised about $15,000, much more typical of a state legislative race.

Republican Rep. Joel John, who had won the House majority by defeating a Democrat in 2020 but angered some party members by opposing key school choice and social legislation, lost his bid for a new term that spanned a sprawling district. west of Phoenix.

In the western suburbs of Phoenix lived former Representative Anthony Kern, who attended Trump’s January 6 meeting to attack Congress and unsuccessfully sued the Democrats who asked the Justice Department to investigate him, won his Senate primary. He was defeated in his 2020 House primary and is now aiming for a seat in the Senate. There is no Democrat, so Kern automatically wins the seat in November.

Also former Rep. Steve Montenegro made a successful political comeback, whose candidacy for Congress in 2018 was disrupted by a sexting scandal. He was the top voter among four Republicans running for two open house seats in a western Phoenix House district. A Democrat ran in that district.

Democratic Reps Diego Espinoza and Richard Andrade battled for a seat in the Senate after being drawn into the same district in Phoenix’s western suburbs, while Espinoza had a narrow lead in a race too close to mention.

And Senator Lela Alston, considered the most experienced legislator in the legislature, easily defeated two Democratic challengers in her central Phoenix district. One of them, the politically unknown Al Jones, attracted attention by buying billboards all over town.

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