Who is Rusty Bowers?
Bowers is a lifelong Republican, who has served as Arizona speaker of the House since 2019 and has served in the Arizona state legislature as a strong Republican for much of his career.
Why did Bowers testify for the January 6th Committee?
In the 2020 presidential election, President Biden narrowly carried the state, winning 10,456 more votes than former President Donald Trump. President Biden was the second Democrat to win Arizona in 70 years, earning him the state's 11 electoral votes.
Though the results of this election were accurate (and have since been confirmed by three recounts), Donald Trump’s team pressured Arizona state officials to overturn the results of the election for fraud.
Rusty Bowers, Arizona speaker of the House, was particularly targeted by the Trump campaign. Trump personally called Bowers asking him to overturn the results in Arizona on the basis of fraud.
Bowers responded by asking Trump for evidence of fraud in Arizona. This evidence was never provided to him. During the sworn testimony, Bowers even said of Giuliani that “he said we've got lots of theories. We just don't have the evidence.”
What did Bowers testify for the January 6th Committee?
In his testimony before the January 6th Committee, Bowers revealed his support for President Trump in 2016 and 2020, but continued on to say he could not support the President’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. He stated under oath, “I do not want to be a winner by cheating.”
Without evidence, Bowers affirmed he would not break his oath to the U.S. Constitution and the people of Arizona.
“You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath,” Bowers told Trump’s team.
Above all, Bowers believes in the constitution: “it is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired, of my most basic foundational beliefs.”
So while he is a Republican and Trump supporter, he could not turn his back on his oath when there was no evidence supporting the claims that the election was rigged.
Arizona GOP Censures Bowers After Testimony
On July 19th, less than a month after his testimony, the Arizona Republican party censured Bowers, who remains as Speaker of the House.
The chair of the AZ Gop tweeted, “[Bowers] is no longer a Republican in good standing & we call on Republicans to replace him at the ballot box in the August primary.” Former President Trump has already endorsed the candidate running against Bowers in his state senate primary race.
Rusty Bowers Religious Beliefs
Bowers is a life-long Christian. Rusty Bowers lived out his faith while serving as a missionary in Mexico for two years. Bowers, who attended Brigham Young University, said he has a “foundational desire to follow God’s will.” He even made the basketball at BYU team as a walk-on.
As a deeply religious man, Bowers refused to go against his conscience and support Trump’s plan to undermine democracy, despite being a Trump supporter. He has stated that his connection to God and his faith were crucial in his decision to refuse to participate with Trump’s efforts to undermine democracy in Arizona.