Reflecting on election loss to Trump-backed candidate, Rusty Bowers invokes the Dark Ages

While many liberals see Bowers as a hero, Mesa voters rejected him by roughly a two-to-one margin.

By Ray Stern | Arizona Republic

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers did chores around his home the day after losing an election to a Trump-endorsed candidate. He also reflected on the Dark Ages.

Bowers previously had the told the news media it would take a “miracle” for him to win the Republican primary in the east Mesa district, with so many party members taken in by the false notion that Trump should have won the 2020 election.

His loss Tuesday didn’t surprise him as much as the direction his party was headed following primary victories by other “America First” candidates.

Before the Enlightenment, “rhetoric ruled in those times, much more powerfully than the truth,” he said. “If the Republican slate is elected … aye-yai-yai.”

With no Democratic contender in November, Bowers’ competitor David Farnsworth is now Senator-elect for the district. Several other Trump-backed primary candidates will still have to take on Democratic candidates in the November election.

Bowers drew national attention for his actions in stymieing attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Arizona and his emotional testimony June 21 in Washington D.C. at the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

His actions defying Trump and a mellowing of his hardline conservatism in recent years, however, drew scorn and disrespect from party leaders who pushed in the opposite direction. A month after his testimony, state party chair Kelli Ward announced Bowers’ censure for his lack of support for “election integrity” legislation and other perceived problems like co-sponsoring a bill with Democrats that would have extended the state’s nondiscrimination policies to the LGBTQ community.

While many liberals see Bowers as a hero, Mesa voters rejected him by roughly a two-to-one margin.

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