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Arizona GOP censures Rusty Bowers after Jan. 6 testimony

Bowers, who rejected Trump's scheme to appoint fake Electoral College voters, was still quite servile to Trump. But evidently, not servile enough.


Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House who testified during a U.S. House Jan. 6 committee hearing last month, has been censured by the Arizona Republican Party.

Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward announced the censure in a tweet Tuesday that referenced Bowers’ ostensible offenses, including his support for a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition, his support for a $1 billion education bill, his support for a bill recognizing gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes, and his opposition to a bill requiring only two genders be used and recognized on government documents.

Conspicuously absent from the list is the most likely reason for Bowers’ censure: his Jan. 6 committee testimony, which could serve to implicate former President Donald Trump in a potentially criminal election scheme.

Bowers testified that Trump and Rudy Giuliani asked him to help pick fake electors who would cast Arizona’s 2020 electoral votes for Trump instead of Joe Biden, the actual winner. During his testimony, Bowers said Trump aides Jenna Ellis and John Eastman, along with GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, all pressured him to somehow decertify the votes cast for Biden (which he had no power to do). Ward, the Arizona GOP chairwoman, has been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee in connection with this scheme. 

Nonetheless, the closest Tuesday’s censure announcement came to referencing the plot is a few vague lines that claim Bowers has “lost the confidence” of Arizona Republicans, he’s “demonstrated he is unfit to serve,” and he’s shown “disregard” for GOP leadership at all levels of government. 

The announcement called for all Republicans to “expel him permanently from office in the impending primary election.”

That’s got to hurt Bowers. During his testimony, he recalled the threats and harassment he and his family (including his terminally ill daughter, who died in January 2021) endured after he rejected Trump’s election plot. 

Despite his damning remarks about Trump's efforts to cheat, Bowers said he'd still vote for him if he were the Republican nominee in 2024. This was quite a shock to many.

But Bowers won’t be rewarded for that servility. The name of Trump’s game is complete servitude, and overlooking the violent mob sicced on his family isn’t even enough for Bowers to work his way into the MAGA movement’s good graces.

Soon, he will be a man without a party.